Serum choline plasmalogens-those with oleic acid in sn-2-are biomarkers for coronary artery disease

Clin Chim Acta. 2014 Nov 1:437:147-54. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2014.07.024. Epub 2014 Jul 25.


Background: Identifying risk factors is crucial for preventing cardiovascular events, but there are no widely accepted predictive biomarkers. In our previous study of Japanese asymptomatic cohorts, we performed global analysis of serum ether glycerophospholipids (Egp) molecular profiles, and found that choline plasmalogens (PlsCho; 1-O-alk-1'-enyl-2-acyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine), particularly those containing oleic acid (18:1) in the sn-2 position, were strongly associated with a wide range of risk factors for metabolic syndrome/atherosclerosis.

Methods: We determined serum concentrations of Egp molecular species of coronary artery disease patients (n=50; 31 males and 19 females) by LC/MS/MS, and plasmalogen (Pls; 1-O-alk-1'-enyl-2-acyl-sn-glycerophospholipids) contents in lipoprotein fractions by HPLC using radioactive iodine.

Results: We found that the serum concentrations of ether choline glycerophospholipids (EgpCho), particularly PlsCho, were not only significantly lower in males with significant coronary stenosis but also associated with atherosclerosis-related parameters, and their association was stronger than either high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or adiponectin. In addition, serum PlsCho containing 18:1 or linoleic acid (18:2) in sn-2 showed the highest correlations with a wide range of atherogenic parameters among PlsCho molecular species.

Conclusion: These results verify our previous findings that serum PlsCho, particularly those containing 18:1 in sn-2, may serve as reliable biomarkers for atherosclerosis.

Keywords: Choline plasmalogen; Coronary artery disease; Ether glycerophospholipid; LC/MS/MS; Plasmalogen; Significant coronary stenosis.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oleic Acid / blood*
  • Plasmalogens / blood*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Biomarkers
  • Plasmalogens
  • choline plasmalogens
  • Oleic Acid