High-Density Lipoprotein Lipidomics in Chronic Kidney Disease

Clin Chem. 2023 Mar 1;69(3):273-282. doi: 10.1093/clinchem/hvac216.


Background: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have dysfunctional high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles as compared with the general population. Understanding the lipid composition of HDL may provide mechanistic insight. We tested associations of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and albuminuria with relative HDL abundance of ceramides, sphingomyelins, and phosphatidylcholines in participants with CKD.

Methods: We studied 490 participants with CKD from the Seattle Kidney Study. HDL was isolated from plasma; targeted lipidomics was used to quantify the relative abundance of ceramides, sphingomyelins, and phosphatidylcholines per 10 µg of total HDL protein. We evaluated the associations of eGFR and albuminuria with levels of individual lipids and lipid classes (including 7 ceramides, 6 sphingomyelins, and 24 phosphatidylcholines) using multivariable linear regression, controlling for multiple comparisons via the false discovery rate.

Results: The mean (SD) eGFR was 45 (24) mL/min/1.73 m2; the median (IQR[interquartile range]) albuminuria was 108 (16, 686) mg/g (12.2 [1.8, 77.6] mg/mmol) urine creatinine. After adjusting for demographics, past medical history, laboratory values, and medication use, eGFR was not associated with higher relative abundance of any class of lipids or individual lipids. Greater albuminuria was significantly associated with a higher relative abundance of total ceramides and moderate-long R-chain sphingomyelins, ceramides 22:0 and 24:1, hexosylceramide 16:0, sphingomyelin 16:0, and phosphatidylcholines 29:0, 30:1, and 38:2; the strongest association was for hexosylceramide 16:0 (increase per doubling of urine albumin to creatinine ratio 0.022 (95% CI, 0.012-0.032).

Conclusions: Greater albuminuria was significantly associated with specific alterations in the lipid composition of HDL in participants with CKD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria* / urine
  • Ceramides
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Lipidomics
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic*
  • Sphingomyelins


  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Creatinine
  • Sphingomyelins
  • Ceramides
  • Phosphatidylcholines