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HDL lipid composition is profoundly altered in patients with type 2 diabetes and atherosclerotic vascular disease


Background and aims

We have previously shown that the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant functions of HDL are impaired in T2D patients. In this study, we examined whether HDL from T2D patients contains elevated levels of oxidized fatty acids and whether those levels correlate with cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Methods and results

HETEs and HODEs on HDL were determined by LC-MS/MS in 40 non-diabetic controls (ND), 40 T2D without CVD (D⁺CVD⁻) and 38 T2D with known history of CVD (D⁺CVD⁺). HDL oxidant index was evaluated by a cell-free assay using dichlorofluorescein. Twenty-six randomly selected subjects from the three groups underwent coronary calcium score evaluation (CAC). Major cardiovascular risk factors were similar among the groups. HETEs and HODEs content were significantly increased in HDL from D⁺CVD⁺ when compared to D⁺CVD⁻ and ND patients. HDL oxidant index was not different among the three groups; however, it was significantly higher in patients with CAC score >100 when compared to patients with CAC score <100.


Patients with D⁺CVD⁻ and D⁺CVD⁺ are characterized by a severe, graded enrichment of oxidized fatty acids on HDL. In the present study, a loss of HDL function (as estimated by the HDL oxidant index) is observed only in patients with more advanced atherosclerosis.

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