Exercise intervention alters HDL subclass distribution and function in obese women

Journal Article


Journal Title

Lipids in Health and Disease

Journal ISSN
Volume Title

BioMed Central


University of Cape Town

Background Obesity is associated with a change in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) function and subclass. Exercise training reduces cardiovascular risk in obese patients. We aimed to explore the effect of an exercise training stimulus on HDL functionality and subclass in obese women. Methods Thirty-two obese black South African women were randomly assigned to exercise (combined aerobic and resistance exercise) or control (no exercise) conditions for 12-weeks. Pre- and post-testing included venous blood sampling for analysis of lipid profile and HDL functionality, by measuring cellular cholesterol efflux capacity, reduction in endothelial vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM) expression (anti-inflammatory function), paraoxonase (PON) (antioxidative function) and platelet activating factor acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH) activities (anti-thrombotic function). PON-1 and PAF-AH expression were determined in serum and in isolated HDL using Western blotting. Levels of large, intermediate and small HDL subclasses were measured using the Lipoprint® system. Results Exercise training resulted in a decrease in body mass index (− 1.0 ± 0.5% vs + 1.2 ± 0.6%, p = 0.010), PON activity (− 8.7 ± 2.4% vs + 1.1 ± 3.0%, p = 0.021), PAF-AH serum expression (− 22.1 ± 8.0% vs + 16.9 ± 9.8, p = 0.002), and the distribution of small HDL subclasses (− 10.1 ± 5.4% vs + 15.7 ± 6.6%, p = 0.004) compared to controls. Exercise did not alter HDL cellular cholesterol efflux capacity and anti-inflammatory function. Conclusions These results demonstrate the potential for exercise training to modify HDL subclass distribution and HDL function in obese women. Trial registration Clinical trials number: PACTR201711002789113 .