Plasma and cerebrospinal fluid cholesterol esterification is hampered in Alzheimer’s disease
Selected Abstract - SITeCS Congress 2023
Copyright (c) 2023 European Atherosclerosis Journal
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Introduction: Several epidemiological studies indicate a strong inverse association between the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and plasma HDL-C levels. The mechanism by which plasma HDL influence the pathogenesis and progression of AD is still unsolved and since cholesterol esterification is a crucial step in HDL metabolism it could be involved. The purpose of this study was to evaluate cholesterol esterification and HDL subclasses in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) patients.
Materials and Methods: The study enrolled 70 AD patients and 74 cognitively-normal controls comparable for age and sex. Lipids and lipoprotein profile, cholesterol esterification, and cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC) were evaluated in plasma and CSF using assays set for measurement in plasma, which were appropriately modified for CSF.
Results and Discussion: AD patients have normal plasma lipids, but significantly reduced unesterified cholesterol and unesterified/total cholesterol ratio. Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) activity and cholesterol esterification rate (CER), two measures of the efficiency of the esterification process, were reduced by 29% and 16%, respectively, in plasma of AD patients. Plasma HDL subclass distribution in AD patients was comparable to that of controls, but the content of small discoidal preβ-HDL particles was significantly reduced. In agreement with the reduced preβ-HDL particles, cholesterol efflux capacity mediated by the transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1 was reduced in AD patients’ plasma. The CSF unesterified to total cholesterol ratio was increased in AD patients, and CSF CER and CEC from astrocytes were significantly reduced in AD patients. In the AD group, a significant positive correlation was observed between plasma unesterified cholesterol and unesterified/total cholesterol ratio with Aβ1-42 CSF content.
Conclusion: Taken together data indicate that cholesterol esterification is hampered in plasma and CSF of AD patients, and that plasma cholesterol esterification biomarkers (unesterified cholesterol and unesterified/total cholesterol ratio) are significantly associated to disease biomarkers (i.e., CSF Aβ1-42).