Decreased plasma levels of sphingolipids and total cholesterol in adult cystic fibrosis patients
Bal Topçu, Dilara
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Background: Sphingolipid species in the lung epithelium have a critical role for continuity of membrane structure, vesicular transport, and cell survival. Sphingolipid species were reported to have a role in the inflammatory etiology of cystic fibrosis by previous work. The aim of the study was to investigate the levels of plasma sphingomyelin and ceramide in adult cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and compared with healthy controls. Materials and methods: Blood samples were obtained from CF patients at exacerbation (n = 15), discharge (n =13) and stable periods (n = 11). Healthy individuals (n = 15) of similar age served as control. Levels of C16–C24 sphingomyelin and C16–C24 ceramide were measured in the plasma by LC-MS/MS. Also, cholesterol and tri glyceride levels were determined in plasma samples of the patients at stable period. Results: All measured sphingomyelin and ceramide levels in all periods of CF patients were significantly lower than healthy controls except C16 sphingomyelin level in the stable period. However, plasma Cer and SM levels among exacerbation, discharge, and stable periods of CF were not different. CF patients had significantly lower cholesterol levels compared to healthy individuals. We found significant correlation of cholesterol with C16 sphingomyelin. Conclusion: We observed lower plasma Cer and SM levels in adult CF patients at exacerbation, discharge, and stable periods compared to healthy controls. We didn’t find any significant difference between patient Cer and SM levels among these three periods. Our limited number of patients might have resulted with this statistical insignificance. However, percentage of SM16 levels were increased at discharge compared to exacerbation levels, while percentage of Cer16 and Cer 20 decreased at stable compared to exacerbation. Inclusion of a larger number of CF patients in such a follow up study may better demonstrate any possible difference between exacerbation, discharge, and stable periods.