Neonatal genetically lean and obese pigs respond differently to dietary cholesterol

B. W. Patterson, W. W. Wong, H. P. Sheng, H. J. Mersmann, W. Insull, P. D. Klein, M. L. Fiorotto, W. G. Pond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The impact of cholesterol exposure in early life on later cholesterol metabolism is not clearly understood. Sixteen newborn genetically lean and obese pigs were fed 0 or 5.0 g cholesterol/kg diet (0 or 0.5%) (liquid diets for 12 d, dry diets thereafter) for 33 d, after which they were all fed 10.0 g cholesterol/kg diet (1.0%) for 23 d. All animals were killed on d 56 and whole-body protein, fat and water were determined on the ground carcass. Dietary cholesterol had no consistent effect on growth rates or body composition. Mean fat content of lean pigs was 15.1% compared with 22.7% for obese pigs; corresponding values were 14.8 and 14.4% for protein and 65.5 and 58.3% for water. Concentrations of plasma total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and apolipoproteins B and A-I were increased by 0.5% dietary cholesterol in obese but not in lean piglets, although dietary cholesterol caused HDL and LDL size distribution profiles to shift toward larger-sized components in both strains. Plasma total cholesterol and apolipoprotein B concentrations rose two- to eightfold in all groups after the 1% cholesterol diet was consumed; these changes were accompanied by shifts in LDL and HDL size distribution profiles towards larger-sized components. With 1.0% cholesterol in the diet of all groups, HDL cholesterol concentration increased by ~50% in both groups of lean pigs and in obese pigs previously fed cholesterol, but did not increase further in obese pigs previously fed 0.5% cholesterol. The magnitude of the hypercholesterolemic response in lean pigs was blunted by previous exposure to 0.5% dietary cholesterol, but the response was accentuated in obese animals that had been previously exposed to 0.5% dietary cholesterol. These data provide evidence that genetic differences between obese and lean pigs affect their serum lipoprotein responses to high cholesterol intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1830-1839
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1992


  • cholesterol
  • lipoproteins
  • liquid diets
  • pigs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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