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28.09.2016 | Short Communication | Ausgabe 6/2016 Open Access

Inflammopharmacology 6/2016

Differences between serum polar lipid profiles of male and female rheumatoid arthritis patients in response to glucocorticoid treatment

Inflammopharmacology > Ausgabe 6/2016
Junzeng Fu, Bart V. J. Cuppen, Paco M. J. Welsing, Herman van Wietmarschen, Amy C. Harms, Ruud Berger, Slavik Koval, Ruth D. E. Fritsch-Stork, Johannes W. J. Bijlsma, Thomas Hankemeier, Jan van der Greef, Floris P. J. G. Lafeber
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10787-016-0284-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
J. Fu and B. V. J. Cuppen contributed equally to this work.



As there are pharmacological differences between males and females, and glucocorticoid (GC) treatment is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality rate in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, it is important to study serum polar lipid profiles of male and female patients in response to GC therapy. Gender differences may require an adjustment to the treatment strategy for a selection of patients.


Serum samples from 281 RA patients were analysed using a targeted lipidomics platform. The differences in GC use and gender on polar lipid profiles were cross sectionally examined by multiple linear regressions, while correcting for confounding factors.


Differences in polar lipids between GC users and non-GC users in females and males were merely restricted to lysophospholipids (lysophosphatidylcholines and lysophosphatidylethanolamines). Lysophospholipids in female patients treated with GCs were significantly higher than female patients not treated with GCs (p = 6.0 E−6), whereas no significant difference was observed in male GC users versus non-users (p = 0.397).


The lysophospholipid profiles in response to GCs were significantly different between male and female RA patients, which may have implications for the cardiovascular risk of GC treatment.

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 228 kb)
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