Oxysterols and Retinal Microvascular Dysfunction as Early Risk Markers for Cardiovascular Disease in Normal, Ageing Individuals

Hala Shokr, Irundika HK Dias*, Doina Gherghel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present paper is to assess the relationship between oxysterol levels and retinal microvascular function in individuals of various age groups, free of clinically evident diseases. Forty-two apparently healthy individuals were included in the present study (group 1: 19–30 years, group 2: 31–50 years, and group 3: 51–70 years). Retinal microvascular function was assessed using the dynamic retinal vessel analyzer (DVA, IMEDOS GmbH, Jena, Germany). Fasting plasma was obtained from all subjects and quantification of monohydroxy and dihydroxy oxysterols assessment was performed using LC-MS/MS following reverse phase chromatography. A Griess assay was used to evaluate the Nitric Oxide (NO) concentration in all individuals. The glutathione redox ratio was also analyzed by means of whole blood glutathione recycling assay. In all participants, the levels of 7-Ketocholesterol, 25-hydroxycholesterol and 7β-hydroxycholesterol correlated significantly and positively with the time to maximum arteriolar dilation. In addition, 25-hydroxycholesterol and 7β-hydroxycholesterol negatively correlated to the percentage of maximum arteriolar dilation. A negative correlation was observed for 27-hydroxycholesterol and 7β-hydroxycholesterol with microvascular arteriolar constriction. These results suggest that, with age, abnormal oxysterol levels correlate with early changes in microvascular bed function. This relationship could signal early risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in an ageing population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1756
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 by the authors.
Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article
distributed under the terms and
conditions of the Creative Commons
Attribution (CC BY) license (https://


  • oxidative stress
  • oxysterols
  • cardiovascular disease risk


Dive into the research topics of 'Oxysterols and Retinal Microvascular Dysfunction as Early Risk Markers for Cardiovascular Disease in Normal, Ageing Individuals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this