Background: Lipid-poor or lipid-free high density lipoprotein (HDL) particles, designated pre β-HDL, stimulate removal of cell-derived cholesterol to the extracellular compartment, which is an initial step in the reverse cholesterol transport pathway. Pre β-HDL levels may be elevated in subjects with established cardiovascular disease. We determined the relationship of carotid intima media thickness (IMT), a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis, with pre β-HDL in subjects without clinically manifest cardiovascular disease. Methods: IMT and plasma pre β-HDL, assayed by crossed immuno-electrophoresis, were determined in 70 non-diabetic subjects (aged 56. ± 9. years; non-smokers only; 27 women). Results: IMT was correlated positively with pre β-HDL, both expressed as plasma apolipoprotein (apo) A-I concentration (r = 0.271, p= 0.023) and as% of apo A-I (r= 0.341, p= 0.004). In contrast, IMT was correlated inversely with HDL cholesterol (r= - 0.253, p= 0.035). IMT was also related positively to pre β-HDL after adjustment for age, sex, systolic blood pressure (in apoA-I concentration, β= 0.203, p= 0.043; in% of plasma apoA-I, β= 0.235, p= 0.023). IMT remained associated with pre β-HDL after additional adjustment for either body mass index, plasma glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, apoA-I and apoB. Conclusion: Subclinical atherosclerosis may relate to higher plasma pre βHDL independently of apoA-I and HDL cholesterol levels.

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Clinica Chimica Acta
Department of Molecular Genetics

de Vries, R, Perton, F.G, van Tol, A, & Dullaart, R.P.F. (2012). Carotid intima media thickness is related positively to plasma pre β-high density lipoproteins in non-diabetic subjects. Clinica Chimica Acta, 413(3-4), 473–477. doi:10.1016/j.cca.2011.11.001