Individual triglyceride-rich lipoprotein (TGRL) particles derived from human volunteers are nondestructively analyzed by laser tweezers Raman microspectroscopy, and information on their composition and distribution is obtained. The Raman signature of single optically trapped very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), a subclass of TGRL, which play an important role in cardiovascular disease, exhibits distinct peaks associated with molecular vibrations of fatty acids, proteins, lipids, and structural rearrangements of lipids. Our analysis of pre- and postprandial VLDL exhibits the signature of biochemical changes in individual lipoprotein particles following the consumption of meals. Interaction of VLDL with endothelium leads to the breakdown of complex triacylglycerols and the formation of a highly ordered core of free saturated fatty acids in the particle. A particle distribution analysis reveals trends in the degree to which this process has occurred in particles at different times during the postprandial period. Differences in particle distributions based on the different ratios of polyunsaturated to saturated fats in the consumed meals are also easily discerned. Individual lipoprotein particles hydrolyzed in vitro through addition of lipoprotein lipase (LpL) exhibit strikingly similar changes in their Raman spectra. These results demonstrate the feasibility of monitoring the dynamics of lipid metabolism of individual TGRL particles as they interact with LpL in the endothelial cell wall using Raman spectroscopy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry