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The human liver lipidome is significantly related to the lipid composition and aggregation susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles

Atherosclerosis. 2022 Nov 23;363:22-29. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2022.11.018. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to aggregation predicts atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. However, causes of interindividual variation in LDL lipid composition and aggregation susceptibility remain unclear. We examined whether the lipid composition and aggregation susceptibility of LDL reflect the lipid composition of the human liver.

METHODS: Liver biopsies and blood samples for isolation of LDL particles were obtained from 40 obese subjects (BMI 45.9 ± 6.1 kg/m2, age 43 ± 8 years). LDL was isolated using sequential ultracentrifugation and lipidomic analyses of liver and LDL samples were determined using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. LDL aggregation susceptibility ex vivo was analyzed by inducing aggregation by human recombinant secretory sphingomyelinase and following aggregate formation.

RESULTS: The composition (acyl carbon number and double bond count) of hepatic triglycerides, phosphatidylcholines, and sphingomyelins (SMs) was closely associated with that of LDL particles. Hepatic dihydroceramides and ceramides were positively correlated with concentrations of the corresponding SM species in LDL as well with LDL aggregation. These relationships remained statistically significant after adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index.

CONCLUSIONS: Lipid composition of LDL reflects that of the human liver in obese patients. Changes in hepatic sphingolipid metabolism may contribute to interindividual variation of LDL lipid composition and susceptibility to aggregation.

PMID:36455305 | DOI:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2022.11.018

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