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Atherosclerosis. 2011 Dec;219(2):855-63. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.08.049. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

Plasma levels of sphingosine-1-phosphate and apolipoprotein M in patients with monogenic disorders of HDL metabolism.

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  • 1Institute of Clinical Chemistry, University and University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.



Apolipoprotein M (apoM) has been identified as a specific sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) binding protein of HDL.


To investigate the in vivo effects of disturbed apoM or HDL metabolism we quantified S1P and apoM in plasmas of wild-type, apoM-knock-out, and apoM transgenic mice as well as 50 patients with seven different monogenic disorders of HDL metabolism and their 51 unaffected relatives.


Compared to wild type mice, S1P plasma levels in apoM knock-out and apoM transgenic mice were decreased by 30% and increased by 270%, respectively. Compared to family controls, S1P and apoM levels in apoB-depleted plasma were significantly decreased by in average 34% and 12%, respectively, in heterozygous carriers of mutations in APOA1, LCAT or ABCA1, and by 70% and 48%, respectively, in carriers of two defective alleles in LCAT or ABCA1. Heterozygous mutations in CETP, SCARB1, LIPC, or LIPG did not significantly affect S1P or apoM concentrations. Albumin-corrected molar S1P-to-apoM ratios varied from 0.12 to 0.8 (median 0.3) and were not affected by any mutation. S1P levels in apoB-depleted plasma correlated significantly with HDL-cholesterol and less so with apoM both if apoA-I plasma concentrations were below the median.


In the context of previous data, our findings can be explained by the existence of a specific apoM and S1P containing HDL subclass which contains a considerable molar excess of apoM over S1P and is critically determined by apoA-I up to a threshold concentration around the median found in a Caucasian population.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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