The effects of apolipoprotein B depletion on HDL subspecies composition and function

W. Sean Davidson, Anna Heink, Hannah Sexmith, John T. Melchior, Scott M. Gordon, Zsuzsanna Kuklenyik, Laura Woollett, John R. Barr, Jeffrey I. Jones, Christopher A. Toth, Amy S. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) efflux function may be a more robust biomarker of coronary artery disease risk than HDL-C. To study HDL function, apoB-containing lipoproteins are precipitated from serum. Whether apoB precipitation affects HDL subspecies composition and function has not been thoroughly investigated. We studied the effects of four common apoB precipitation methods [polyethylene glycol (PEG), dextran sulfate/magnesium chloride (MgCl2), heparin sodium/manganese chloride (MnCl2), and LipoSep immunoprecipitation (IP)] on HDL subspecies composition, apolipoproteins, and function (cholesterol efflux and reduction of LDL oxidation). PEG dramatically shifted the size distribution of HDL and apolipoproteins (assessed by two independent methods), while leaving substantial amounts of reagent in the sample. PEG also changed the distribution of cholesterol efflux and LDL oxidation across size fractions, but not overall efflux across the HDL range. Dextran sulfate/MgCl2, heparin sodium/MnCl2, and LipoSep IP did not change the size distribution of HDL subspecies, but altered the quantity of a subset of apolipoproteins. Thus, each of the apoB precipitation methods affected HDL composition and/or size distribution. We conclude that careful evaluation is needed when selecting apoB depletion methods for existing and future bioassays of HDL function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-686
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Grants R01HL67093 (W.S.D.), R01HL104136 (W.S.D.), and K23HL118132 (A.S.S.). The authors declare no financial conflicts of interest relevant to this study. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


  • Cholesterol efflux
  • Dextran sulfate
  • Heparin sodium
  • High density lipoprotein
  • Lipoproteins
  • Low density lipoprotein
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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