Hair sterol signatures coupled to multivariate data analysis reveal an increased 7β-hydroxycholesterol production in cognitive impairment

Hyun Hwa Son, Do Yup Lee, Hong Seog Seo, Jihyeon Jeong, Ju Yeon Moon, Jung Eun Lee, Bong Chul Chung, Eosu Kim, Man Ho Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Altered cholesterol metabolism could be associated with cognitive impairment. The quantitative profiling of 19 hair sterols was developed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry coupled to multivariate data analysis. The limit of quantification of all sterols ranged from 5 to 20 ng/g, while the calibration linearity was higher than 0.98. The precision (% CV) and accuracy (% bias) ranged from 3.2% to 9.8% and from 83.2% to 119.4%, respectively. Among the sterols examined, 8 were quantitatively detected from two strands of 3-cm-long scalp hair samples of female participants, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n = 15), Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 31), and healthy controls (HC, n = 36). The cognitive impairment (MCI or AD) was correlated with a higher metabolic rate than that of HCs based on 7β-hydroxycholesterol (P < 0.005). Significant negative correlations (r = -0.822) were detected between Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores and hair sample metabolic ratios of 7β-hydroxycholesterol to cholesterol, which is an accepted, sensitive, and specific tool for discriminating HCs from individuals with MCI or AD. In conclusion, improved diagnostic values can be obtained using hair sterol signatures coupled with MMSE scores. This method may prove useful for predictive diagnosis in population screening of cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Mr. Frank Kose (University of Potsdam, Germany) for providing the statistical software package Likelynet for the Bayesian Network Analysis. This study was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Programs ( NRF-2013M3A9B6046413 and 2014M3A9B6069339 ) through the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • 7β-hydroxycholesterol
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cholesterol signatures
  • Hair
  • Mini-Mental State Examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hair sterol signatures coupled to multivariate data analysis reveal an increased 7β-hydroxycholesterol production in cognitive impairment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this