Health Questions and Answers

Question: What are the major classes of lipoprotein particles?


Lipoproteins are named based on their density and are composed of nonpolar (and therefore water-insoluble) cholesterol esters and triglycerides surrounded by a layer of polar (and therefore water-soluble) proteins and lipids (unesterified cholesterol and phospholipids). This structure allows the entire particle to remain miscible in serum.


Lipoprotein Particle Location of Origin Composition Apoproteins Associated Disorders
Chylomicron Intestine 80-95% TG Apo B48 Chylomicronemia
    3-7% chol    
VLDL Liver 50-65% TG Apo B100 Familial hyper triglyceridemia
    20-30% chol    
        Familial combined hyperlipidemia
Remnants and IDL Catabolism ofVLDL & chylomicrons 30-40% TG
30-50% chol
Depends on particle of origin Familial dysbeta-lipoproteinemia (Broad beta disease)
LDL IDL, VLDL remnants 4-10% TG
45-55% chol
B-100 Familial hypercholesterolemia,
        Familial combined hyperlipidemia
HDL Liver, intestine 3-7% TG
25% chol
Apo A Tangier’s disease

VLDL = very low density particle, LDL = low-density particle, ID = intermediate density particle, HDL = high-density particle, TG = triglycerides, chol = cholesterol.

Reference: American Heart Association:

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