Application of directly coupled HPLC NMR to separation and characterization of lipoproteins from human serum

Anal Chem. 2001 Mar 15;73(6):1084-90. doi: 10.1021/ac0011843.


Disorders in lipoprotein metabolism are critical in the etiology of several disease states such as coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. Thus, there is considerable interest in the development of novel methods for the analysis of lipoprotein complexes. We report here a simple chromatographic method for the separation of high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and very low-density lipoprotein from intact serum or plasma. The separation was achieved using a hydroxyapatite column and elution with pH 7.4 phosphate buffer with 100-microL injections of whole plasma. Coelution of HDL with plasma proteins such as albumin occurred, and this clearly limits quantitation of that species by HPLC peak integration. We also show, for the first time, the application of directly coupled HPLC 1H NMR spectroscopy to confirm the identification of the three major lipoproteins. The full chromatographic run time was 90 min with stopped-flow 600-MHz NMR spectra of each lipoprotein being collected using 128 scans, in 7 min. The 1H NMR chemical shifts of lipid signals were identical to conventional NMR spectra of freshly prepared lipoprotein standards, confirming that the lipoproteins were not degraded by the HPLC separation and that their gross supramolecular organization was intact.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / isolation & purification
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / blood
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy


  • Lipoproteins
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL