Sex-specific expression of apolipoprotein levels following replenishment of vitamin D

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2018 Jun:180:129-136. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2017.12.005. Epub 2017 Dec 14.


Numerous studies have been done to establish the relationship between vitamin D and lipids, yet a definitive causal link is not found. This interventional study aims to evaluate and compare levels of apolipoproteins among vitamin D deficient subjects at baseline and after they achieved full vitamin D status correction.120 Saudi adults with vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D < 50nmol/l] were recruited and given 50,000IU cholecalciferol weekly for first 2 months, then twice a month for next 2 months, followed by daily 1000IU until month 6. Blood samples were taken at baseline and after 6 months. Serum 25(OH)D, lipid profile and apolipoproteins (A1, A2, B, C1, C2, C3, E and H) were analyzed using commercially available kits. Overall, serum 25(OH)D increased significantly(63.3 ± 16.5nmol/l at end of study vs. 32.5 ± 10.8 at baseline; p < 0.0001). In parallel, a significant increase in apolipoproteins C1, C2, C3 and E (all p-values < 0.01) and a significant decrease in apolipoprotein B (p = 0.02) was observed. Following, stratification according to sex, apolipoproteins C2 and C3 significantly increased only in males (p-values < 0.01) while apolipoprotein C1 significantly increased only in females (p < 0.01). In addition, apolipoprotein B significantly decreased only in females (p = 0.002). These results suggests role of vitamin D in modulation of circulating levels of lipoproteins. The sexual dimorphism observed in circulating levels of measured apolipoproteins following vitamin D correction may explain, in part, known sexual disparity in the events of cardiometabolic health.

Keywords: Apolipoproteins; Cardiovascular disease; Lipid metabolism; Sex-specific; Vitamin D correction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apolipoproteins / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*


  • Apolipoproteins
  • Biomarkers
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D