Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 52–61 | Cite as

Systems Biology Approaches for Investigating the Relationship Between Lipids and Cardiovascular Disease

  • Gemma M. Kirwan
  • Diego Diez
  • Jesper Z. Haeggström
  • Susumu Goto
  • Craig E. Wheelock


Systems biology is an emerging field that offers promise in exploring the inter-connectivity and causality between biological pathways. This review focuses on systems biology approaches in cardiovascular disease and on the role of inflammatory lipid mediators in atherosclerosis. The basic concepts of systems biology are presented, with a focus on the integration of “omics” data from multiple technology platforms, applications of multivariate analysis, and network theory. A particular emphasis is placed on the role of multivariate statistics in analyzing data from omics platforms. An overview of selected systems biology-specific bioinformatics tools is provided, with a focus on applications that explore the role of lipids in cardiovascular systems. Systems biology offers the promise of increased insight into the biological pathways involved in cardiovascular disease and in unraveling the mechanistic relationships arising from lipid-artery interactions that lead to immune and inflammatory responses and the onset of disease.


Systems biology Lipidomics Cardiovascular disease Atherosclerosis Lipid Eicosanoid Inflammation Multivariate statistics PCA OPLS 



This research was supported by VINNOVA and JSPS under the Sweden-Japan Research Cooperative Program, the Center for Allergy Research, the Åke Wibergs Stiftelse, the Jeanssons Stiftelse, and the Swedish Research Council. GMK was supported by a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship, and CEW was supported by a research fellowship from the Center for Allergy Research.


Gemma M. Kirwan reports no potential conflict of interest relevant to this article. Diego Diez reports no potential conflict of interest relevant to this article. Jesper Z. Haeggström reports no potential conflict of interest relevant to this article. Susumu Goto reports no potential conflict of interest relevant to this article. Craig E. Wheelock reports no potential conflict of interest relevant to this article.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gemma M. Kirwan
    • 1
  • Diego Diez
    • 1
  • Jesper Z. Haeggström
    • 2
  • Susumu Goto
    • 1
  • Craig E. Wheelock
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Bioinformatics Center, Institute for Chemical ResearchKyoto UniversityUjiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Division of Physiological Chemistry IIKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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