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BBA Clin. 2015 Jan 31;3:175-88. doi: 10.1016/j.bbacli.2015.01.005. eCollection 2015 Jun.

High density lipoproteins: Measurement techniques and potential biomarkers of cardiovascular risk.

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McGill University Health Center, Royal Victoria Hospital, 687 Avenue des Pins West, Montreal, QC H3A 1A1, Canada.


Plasma high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) comprises a heterogeneous family of lipoprotein species, differing in surface charge, size and lipid and protein compositions. While HDL cholesterol (C) mass is a strong, graded and coherent biomarker of cardiovascular risk, genetic and clinical trial data suggest that the simple measurement of HDL-C may not be causal in preventing atherosclerosis nor reflect HDL functionality. Indeed, the measurement of HDL-C may be a biomarker of cardiovascular health. To assess the issue of HDL function as a potential therapeutic target, robust and simple analytical methods are required. The complex pleiotropic effects of HDL make the development of a single measurement challenging. Development of laboratory assays that accurately HDL function must be developed validated and brought to high-throughput for clinical purposes. This review discusses the limitations of current laboratory technologies for methods that separate and quantify HDL and potential application to predict CVD, with an emphasis on emergent approaches as potential biomarkers in clinical practice.


2D-PAGGE, two dimensional polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis; ApoA-I, apolipoprotein A-I; Apolipoprotein A-I; Atherosclerosis; Biomarkers of cardiovascular risk; CHD, coronary heart disease; CVD, cardiovascular disease; Cellular cholesterol efflux; Coronary artery disease; HDL, high density lipoprotein; HPLC, High Performance Liquid Chromatography; High density lipoproteins; LCAT, lecithin–cholesterol acyltransferase; LDL, low density lipoprotein; MALDI, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization; MOP, myeloperoxidase; MS/MS, tandem-mass spectrometry; ND-PAGGE, non-denaturant polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis; NMR, nuclear magnetic resonance; PEG, polyethylene glycol; PON1, paraoxonase 1; SELDI, surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization; TOF, time-of-flight; UTC, ultracentrifugation; Vascular endothelial function

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