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Jikei University School of Medicine patents new method for functional evaluation of high-density lipoproteins using stable isotopes


Professor Hiroshi Yoshida of the Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine at Jikei University School of Medicine (Director of Jikei University Kashiwa Hospital), in conjunction with SEKISUI MEDICAL, has developed a new method to measure the functional capacity of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Jikei University School of Medicine announced patent acquisition on August 25. The new method measures the cholesterol- efflux capacity (CEC) of HDL. It can be widely applied in clinical practice, unlike the conventional radioisotope-based approach. In future, Yoshida will continue with studies in which he will compare this method with other assay methods in order to standardize the approach.

Even for the same concentrations of HDL, HDL with a lower CEC is associated with a higher risk of atherosclerotic disease. This means that it is necessary to evaluate HDL not only quantitatively in terms of amount, but also qualitatively to reflect its function.

In conventional CEC measurement, cholesterol is labeled with a radioisotope and is then taken up by white blood cells called macrophages. Next, HDL isolated from an individual's serum is added to the samples to measure the strength of cholesterol-derived radioactivity. However, since the conventional method requires radioactive isotopes, only a few facilities can perform this test.

From this background, Yoshida and SEKISUI MEDICAL have developed a measurement method using a stable isotope (SI), which can be widely applied in clinical settings without the need to use radioactive isotopes.

In the new method, SI-labeled cholesterol is measured with a device termed a mass spectrometer, allowing cholesterol to be accurately measured based on the structural information. It also allows tracking of the metabolic state of cholesterol after it is extracted from cells. Moreover, this approach makes it possible to measure molecules other than cholesterol, such as phospholipids, simultaneously. The patent was obtained in January of this year. They presented the new method at the 55th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japan Atherosclerosis Society in July.

This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd. ( Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.

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