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J Lipid Res. 2014 Feb;55(2):338-43. doi: 10.1194/jlr.D044024. Epub 2013 Nov 4.

Determination of 7-ketocholesterol in plasma by LC-MS for rapid diagnosis of acid SMase-deficient Niemann-Pick disease.

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Department of Pediatric Endocrinology and Genetic Metabolism, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai Institute for Pediatric Research, Shanghai 200092, China.


Acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase)-deficient Niemann-Pick disease (NPD) is caused by mutations in the sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 1 (SMPD1) gene, resulting in accumulation of sphingomyelin in the lysosomes and secondary changes in cholesterol metabolism. We hypothesized that the oxidation product of cholesterol, 7-ketocholesterol (7-KC), might increase in the plasma of patients with ASMase-deficient NPD. In this study, a rapid and nonderivatized method of measurement of plasma 7-KC by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed. Plasma samples from healthy subjects, patients with ASMase-deficient NPD, nonaffected ASMase-deficient NPD heterozygotes, Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease, glycogen storage disorder type II (GSDII), Gaucher disease (GD), mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPSII), Krabbe disease (KD), and metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) were tested retrospectively. Markedly elevated 7-KC was found in patients with ASMase-deficient NPD and NPC disease that showed significant differences from ASMase-deficient NPD heterozygotes; patients with GSDII, GD, MPSII, KD, and MLD; and normal controls. The analysis of plasma 7-KC by LC-MS/MS offers the first simple, quantitative, and highly sensitive method for detection of ASMase-deficient NPD and could be useful in the diagnosis of both ASMase-deficient NPD and NPC disease.


genetics; mass spectrometry; oxysterols; storage diseases

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