An Unbiased Lipid Phenotyping Approach To Study the Genetic Determinants of Lipids and Their Association with Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors.


Direct infusion high-resolution mass spectrometry (DIHRMS) is a novel, high-throughput approach to rapidly and accurately profile hundreds of lipids in human serum without prior chromatography, facilitating in-depth lipid phenotyping for large epidemiological studies to reveal the detailed associations of individual lipids with coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors. Intact lipid profiling by DIHRMS was performed on 5662 serum samples from healthy participants in the Pakistan Risk of Myocardial Infarction Study (PROMIS). We developed a novel semi-targeted peak-picking algorithm to detect mass-to-charge ratios in positive and negative ionization modes. We analyzed lipid partial correlations, assessed the association of lipid principal components with established CHD risk factors and genetic variants, and examined differences between lipids for a common genetic polymorphism. The DIHRMS method provided information on 360 lipids (including fatty acyls, glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, and sterol lipids), with a median coefficient of variation of 11.6% (range: 5.4-51.9). The lipids were highly correlated and exhibited a range of associations with clinical chemistry biomarkers and lifestyle factors. This platform can provide many novel insights into the effects of physiology and lifestyle on lipid metabolism, genetic determinants of lipids, and the relationship between individual lipids and CHD risk factors.