Recently, we developed an analytical method for determining the lipid levels and particle numbers in lipoprotein subclasses covering a wide size range from chylomicrons to small high density lipoproteins, by using gel permeation high-performance liquid chromatography (GP-HPLC). The challenges in analytical methods on lipoprotein subclasses have been addressed from 1980 by Hara and Okazaki using commercial TSK gel permeation columns. Later, the improvements in the hardware, separation and detection of lipoproteins, and the data processing software, using a Gaussian distribution approximation to calculate lipid levels of lipoprotein subclasses, have been extensively utilized in these analytical methods for over thirty years. In this review, we describe on the recent advances in analytical methods on lipoprotein subclasses based on various techniques, and the calculation of particle numbers from lipid levels by GPHPLC using the “spherical particle model”. Free/ester ratio of cholesterol in particular lipoprotein subclass was accurately estimated from triglyceride, total cholesterol (free and esterified) and the size of the particle based on this model originally proposed by Shen and Kezdy.
2016 by Japan Oil Chemists' Society