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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 179318, 11 pages
Research Article

Sterol Lipid Metabolism in Down Syndrome Revisited: Down Syndrome Is Associated with a Selective Reduction in Serum Brassicasterol Levels

1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 4H4
2Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Bonn, D-53127 Bonn, Germany
3Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40356, USA

Received 22 October 2011; Accepted 22 February 2012

Academic Editor: Wayne Silverman

Copyright © 2012 Gavin Tansley et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Over the past 15 years, insights into sterol metabolism have improved our understanding of the relationship between lipids and common conditions such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). A better understanding of sterol lipid metabolism in individuals with Down Syndrome (DS) may help elucidate how this population’s unique metabolic characteristics influence their risks for atherosclerosis and AD. To revisit the question of whether sterol lipid parameters may be altered in DS subjects, we performed a pilot study to assess traditional serum sterol lipids and lipoproteins, as well as markers of sterol biosynthesis, metabolites, and plant sterols in 20 subjects with DS compared to age-matched controls. Here we report that the levels of nearly all lipids and lipoproteins examined are similar to control subjects, suggesting that trisomy 21 does not lead to pronounced general alterations in sterol lipid metabolism. However, the levels of serum brassicasterol were markedly reduced in DS subjects.