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Open AccessArticle

Regulation of Serum Sphingolipids in Andean Children Born and Living at High Altitude (3775 m)

PhD school in Molecular and Translational Medicine, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20142 Milan, Italy
Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan, Luigi Mangiagalli 31, 20133 Milan, Italy
Research Unit on BioActive Molecules, Catalan Institute of Advanced Chemistry (IQAC/CSIC), Department of Biological Chemistry, CIBEREHD, Jordi Girona 18, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain
I.R.C.C.S Orthopedic Institute Galeazzi, R. Galeazzi 4, 20161 Milan, Italy
Laboratorio Hidalgo, B1640EYA Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nutrition and Diabetes Division, University of Buenos Aires (UBA), 1006 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2835;
Received: 3 May 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation to Hypoxia: A Chimera?)
Recent studies on Andean children indicate a prevalence of dyslipidemia and hypertension compared to dwellers at lower altitudes, suggesting that despite similar food intake and daily activities, they undergo different metabolic adaptations. In the present study, the sphingolipid pattern was investigated in serum of 7 underweight (UW), 30 normal weight (NW), 13 overweight (OW), and 9 obese (O) Andean children by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Results indicate that levels of Ceramides (Cers) and sphingomyelins (SMs) correlate positively with biochemical parameters (except for Cers and Vitamin D, which correlate negatively), whereas sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) correlates negatively. Correlation results and LC-MS data identify the axis high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), Cers, and S1P as related to hypoxia adaptation. Specifically UW children are characterized by increased levels of S1P compared to O and lower levels of Cers compared to NW children. Furthermore, O children show lower levels of S1P and similar levels of Cers and SMs as NW. In conclusion, our results indicate that S1P is the primary target of hypoxia adaptation in Andean children, and its levels are associated with hypoxia tolerance. Furthermore, S1P can act as marker of increased risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiac dysfunction in young Andeans living at altitude. View Full-Text
Keywords: high-altitude hypoxia; dyslipidemia; sphingolipids; ceramides; sphingosine-1-phosphate; sphingomyelins; LC-MS/MS high-altitude hypoxia; dyslipidemia; sphingolipids; ceramides; sphingosine-1-phosphate; sphingomyelins; LC-MS/MS
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Barbacini, P.; Casas, J.; Torretta, E.; Capitanio, D.; Maccallini, G.; Hirschler, V.; Gelfi, C. Regulation of Serum Sphingolipids in Andean Children Born and Living at High Altitude (3775 m). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 2835.

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