BA (bile acid) formation is considered an important final step in RCT (reverse cholesterol transport). HDL (high-density lipoprotein) has been reported to transport BAs. We therefore investigated the effects of monogenic disturbances in human HDL metabolism on serum concentrations and lipoprotein distributions of the major 15 BA species and their precursor C4 (7α-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one). In normolipidaemic plasma, approximately 84%, 11% and 5% of BAs were recovered in the LPDS (lipoprotein-depleted serum), HDL and the combined LDL (low-density lipoprotein)/VLDL (very-low-density lipoproteins) fraction respectively. Conjugated BAs were slightly over-represented in HDL. For C4, the respective percentages were 23%, 21% and 56% (41% in LDL and 15% in VLDL) respectively. Compared with unaffected family members, neither HDL-C (HDL-cholesterol)-decreasing mutations in the genes APOA1 [encoding ApoA-I (apolipoprotein A-I], ABCA1 (ATP-binding cassette transporter A1) or LCAT (lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase) nor HDL-C-increasing mutations in the genes CETP (cholesteryl ester transfer protein) or LIPC (hepatic lipase) were associated with significantly different serum concentrations of BA and C4. Plasma concentrations of conjugated and secondary BAs differed between heterozygous carriers of SCARB1 (scavenger receptor class B1) mutations and unaffected individuals (P<0.05), but this difference was not significant after correction for multiple testing. Moreover, no differences in the lipoprotein distribution of BAs in the LPDS and HDL fractions from SCARB1 heterozygotes were observed. In conclusion, despite significant recoveries of BAs and C4 in HDL and despite the metabolic relationships between RCT and BA formation, monogenic disorders of HDL metabolism do not lead to altered serum concentrations of BAs and C4.

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