, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 429-437
Date: 03 Feb 2011

Evaluation of high density lipoprotein as a circulating biomarker of Gaucher disease activity

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Abstract

Circulating biomarkers are important surrogates for monitoring disease activity in type I Gaucher disease (GD1). We and others have reported low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in GD1. We assessed HDL cholesterol as a biomarker of GD1, with respect to its correlation with indicators of disease severity and its response to imiglucerase enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). In 278 consecutively evaluated GD1 patients, we correlated HDL cholesterol, chitotriosidase, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) with indicators of disease severity. Additionally, we measured the response of these biomarkers to ERT. HDL cholesterol was negatively correlated with spleen volume, liver volume, and GD severity score index; the magnitude of this association of disease severity with HDL cholesterol was similar to that for ACE and for chitotriosidase. Within individual patients monitored over many years, there was a strikingly strong correlation of HDL with liver and spleen volumes; there was a similarly strong correlation of chitotriosidase and ACE with disease severity in individual patients monitored serially over many years (chitotriosidase r = 0.96 to 0.98, ACE r  = 0.88 to 0.94, and HDL r = −0.84 to −0.94, p < 0.001). ERT for 3 years resulted in a striking increase of HDL while serum levels of chitotriosidase and ACE decreased. Our results reveal markedly low HDL cholesterol in untreated GD1, a correlation with indicators of disease severity in GD1, and a rise towards normal after ERT. These findings suggest HDL cholesterol merits inclusion within the “biomarker basket” for monitoring of patients with GD1.

Communicated by: Ed Wraith
Competing interest: None declared