Serum choline plasmalogens, particularly those with oleic acid in sn-2, are associated with proatherogenic state

J Lipid Res. 2014 May;55(5):956-65. doi: 10.1194/jlr.P045591. Epub 2014 Mar 10.


Serum plasmalogens (Pls) (1-O-alk-1'-enyl-2-acyl glycerophospholipids) are of particular interest for studies on metabolic disorders associated with oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Serum levels of Pls are known to correlate positively with HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C); however, few studies have examined serum Pls molecular species in association with pathophysiological conditions and their clinical significance. To clarify these, we determined serum levels of individual ether glycerophospholipids in Japanese asymptomatic cohorts (n = 428; 362 male and 66 female subjects) by LC/MS/MS, and examined their correlations with clinical parameters. We found that the proportion of choline Pls (PlsCho) among total serum phospholipids was significantly lower in the male group over 40 years old and was associated with multiple risk parameters more strongly than HDL-C. The abundance of serum PlsCho with oleic acid (18:1) in sn-2 exhibited the strongest positive correlation with serum concentrations of adiponectin and HDL-C, while being inversely associated with waist circumference and the serum levels of TG and small dense LDL-cholesterol. The characterization of serum ether glycerophospholipids verified the specificity of PlsCho, particularly the ones with 18:1 in sn-2, as a sensitive biomarker for the atherogenic state.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; ether glycerophospholipid; high density lipoprotein-cholesterol; serum biomarker.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asymptomatic Diseases
  • Atherosclerosis / blood*
  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oleic Acid / chemistry*
  • Plasmalogens / blood*
  • Plasmalogens / chemistry*
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Plasmalogens
  • choline plasmalogens
  • Oleic Acid