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Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 14;6:27710. doi: 10.1038/srep27710.

Gender, Contraceptives and Individual Metabolic Predisposition Shape a Healthy Plasma Lipidome.

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MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrstraße 108, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Fetscherstraße 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
Biomedical Cybernetics Group, Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC), Technische Universität Dresden, Tatzberg 47/49, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
Lipotype GmbH, Tatzberg 47, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
Zora Biosciences Oy Biologinkuja 1, 02150 Espoo, Finland.
Division of Diabetes &Nutritional Sciences, King's College Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, London, SE5 9RS, UK.


Lipidomics of human blood plasma is an emerging biomarker discovery approach that compares lipid profiles under pathological and physiologically normal conditions, but how a healthy lipidome varies within the population is poorly understood. By quantifying 281 molecular species from 27 major lipid classes in the plasma of 71 healthy young Caucasians whose 35 clinical blood test and anthropometric indices matched the medical norm, we provided a comprehensive, expandable and clinically relevant resource of reference molar concentrations of individual lipids. We established that gender is a major lipidomic factor, whose impact is strongly enhanced by hormonal contraceptives and mediated by sex hormone-binding globulin. In lipidomics epidemiological studies should avoid mixed-gender cohorts and females taking hormonal contraceptives should be considered as a separate sub-cohort. Within a gender-restricted cohort lipidomics revealed a compositional signature that indicates the predisposition towards an early development of metabolic syndrome in ca. 25% of healthy male individuals suggesting a healthy plasma lipidome as resource for early biomarker discovery.

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