Objectives: The underlying mechanism of atherosclerosis and visceral obesity remains
unknown.The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that atherosclerosis and visceral
obesity are caused by an immune response to native plasma lipoproteins, and the atherogenic and
adipogenic effects of the antibodies to native lipoproteins stem from the androgen deficiency that is
Methods: Wistar rats were immunized with native human (nh) low-density (LDL) or high-density
lipoproteins (HDL). Visceral fat, aortic wall structure, and testosterone levels were studied.
Results: Immunization with nhLDL or nhHDL induced in rats increased visceral abdominal fat and
perivascular adipose tissue volume, the appearance of epicardial fat, and atherosclerosis-like
changes in the aortic wall: accumulation of leucocytes, destruction of the intima, and disruption of
the media structure. Immunized rats produced antibodies to native plasma lipoproteins, while there
was no difference between immunized and adjuvant-injected rats with regard to the level of antibodies
to oxidized LDL. The immune response to nhHDL caused testosterone disturbances, but it is
not associated with visceral obesity and atherosclerosis.
Conclusion: The immune response to native lipoproteins is atherogenic and adipogenic and testosterone
is not involved in the atherogenic and adipogenic effects of antibodies to lipoproteins.