Sphingolipid serum profiling in vitamin D deficient and dyslipidemic obese dimorphic adults

Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 13;9(1):16664. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53122-4.


Recent studies on Saudi Arabians indicate a prevalence of dyslipidemia and vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D) in both normal weight and obese subjects. In the present study the sphingolipid pattern was investigated in 23 normolipidemic normal weight (NW), 46 vitamin D deficient dyslipidemic normal weight (-vitDNW) and 60 vitamin D deficient dyslipidemic obese (-vitDO) men and women by HPTLC-primuline profiling and LC-MS analyses. Results indicate higher levels of total ceramide (Cer) and dihydroceramide (dhCers C18-22) and lower levels of total sphingomyelins (SMs) and dihydrosphingomyelin (dhSM) not only in -vitDO subjects compared to NW, but also in -vitDNW individuals. A dependency on body mass index (BMI) was observed analyzing specific Cer acyl chains levels. Lower levels of C20 and 24 were observed in men and C24.2 in women, respectively. Furthermore, LC-MS analyses display dimorphic changes in NW, -vitDNW and -vitDO subjects. In conclusion, LC-MS data identify the independency of the axis high Cers, dhCers and SMs from obesity per se. Furthermore, it indicates that long chains Cers levels are specific target of weight gain and that circulating Cer and SM levels are linked to sexual dimorphism status and can contribute to predict obese related co-morbidities in men and women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / diagnosis
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Sphingolipids / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Sphingolipids