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Plasma cytokine response during the postprandial period: a potential causal process in vascular disease?

  • Graham C. Burdge (a1) and Philip C. Calder (a1)

Chronic inflammation of the vascular endothelium produces endothelial dysfunction and ultimately atherogenesis. Postprandial hyperlipidaemia is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Recent studies show that the magnitude of postprandial lipaemia following a single fatty meal is negatively related to vascular function. This is associated with a transient increase in the concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines and soluble adhesion molecules and in pro-oxidant activity. One possible interpretation is that repeated exposure of the blood vessel wall to the activities of pro-inflammatory cytokines and pro-oxidants may damage the vascular endothelium and promote atherogenesis. Based on these results, we propose a model of a causal mechanism to explain how consumption of a fatty meal may impair vascular dysfunction.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr G. C. Burdge, fax +44 2380 594379, email
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