Gemfibrozil treatment increases low-density lipoprotein particle size in Type 2 diabetes mellitus but does not alter in vitro oxidizability.
O'Neal DN., O'Brien RC., Timmins KL., Grieve GD., Lau KP., Nicholson GC., Kotowicz MA., Best JD.
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the lipid modifying agent gemfibrozil on lipid and coagulation risk factors in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (Type 2 DM). Twenty-six subjects with Type 2 DM and dyslipidaemia were treated for 24 weeks with either gemfibrozil 600 mg orally twice daily or placebo in a double-blind randomized trial. Lipid profiles, fibrinogen, Factor VII, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) were measured by routine laboratory methods. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) size was determined by gradient gel electrophoresis and the resistance of LDL to copper-induced oxidation was assessed by measuring absorbance at 234 nm. Gemfibrozil significantly reduced total cholesterol (-0.9 (-0.48, -1.32) mmol l(-1); p < 0.05) and triglycerides (-2.7 (-1.55, -1.35) mmol l(-1); p < 0.001) vs placebo. The fall in triglyceride was reflected by a fall in VLDL cholesterol levels in the gemfibrozil treated group vs placebo (-1.31 mmol l(-1); p < 0.001). LDL-cholesterol level did not change but LDL particle size increased by 0.5 nm (0.01, 0.93); P < 0.02. The increase in particle size was inversely correlated with the change of triglyceride level (r = -0.79, p < 0.0001) but did not result in any reduction of susceptibility to copper-induced oxidation. There were no significant changes in the coagulation parameters studied. Because of its ability to correct the lipid abnormalities associated with Type 2 DM particularly hypertriglyceridaemia, gemfibrozil provides a useful therapeutic option in the management of diabetic dyslipidaemia but it does not alter in vitro oxidizability of LDL.