Small, Dense LDLs Are More Atherogenic

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Definition of Major Classes and Subclasses Used by HPLC

Major
Class
CM VLDL LDL HDL
Component
Peak No.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Particle
Diameter
(nm)
>90 75 64 53.6 44.5 36.8 31.3 28.6 25.5 23 20.7 18.6 16.7 15 13.5 12.1 10.9 9.8 8.8 7.6
Subclass
Name
CM L
VLDL
M
VLDL
S
VLDL
L
LDL
M
LDL
S
LDL
VS
LDL
VL
HDL
L
HDL
M
HDL
S
HDL
VS
HDL

Source: Okazaki et al, 2000 Handbook of Lipoprotein Testing (AACC press)
VL=very large; L=large; M=medium; S=small; VS=very small

Importance of Lipoprotein Subclass Analysis

LDL cholesterol (the level of cholesterol in LDL) and total TG levels are examined in lipid profile (also known as lipid panel) as risk markers of cardiovascular diseases because the rise of their levels is correlated with higher incidence of such diseases as coronary artery abnormality. However, recent studies revealed that LDLs of smaller particle size or small dense LDLs are readily absorbed into vascular endothelium, and they remain there for a long time. They are susceptible to denaturation by free radicals, thus developing atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis results in complications such as stroke and myocardial infarction. It has been suggested that analyzing lipoprotein particle size is critical for prevention, early detection and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Small, Dense LDLs Are More Atherogenic

The size and composition of LDL are changed in the course of metabolism, and therefore LDL particles are not homogeneous at all. The prepossession that “LDL (cholesterol in LDL) is bad” is too simple to fully explain the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Compare Subclass Cholesterol levels between C57BL/6 and db/db Mouse

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