The emerging role of plasma lipidomics in cardiovascular drug discovery
INTRODUCTION: With the rising global incidence of cardiovascular disease, the challenge for the pharmaceutical industry is to identify novel biomarkers that will allow not only for the development of the next generation of cardiometabolic therapeutics, but also to serve as a sensitive mechanism to monitor and predict drug efficacy and potential toxicity. The advent of an 'omics' (systems biological) approach has vast implications for future disease treatment and prevention. Lipidomics is the latest addition to the 'omics' family and is rapidly gaining attention due to the technological improvements in mass spectrometry, allowing for the characterization of large number of lipids (and their respective subclasses) in a short amount of time with relatively minimal preparation. AREAS COVERED: The authors discuss the various techniques involved in plasma lipidomics as well as outline the role that lipidomics will play in phenotyping disease processes and corresponding therapeutic strategies. The article was formed through comprehensive Medline search of relevant publications in this area. EXPERT OPINION: Despite the wealth of data that will emerge regarding the various lipid-molecular interactions and the functions of lipids within cells, a major challenge will be the parallel emergence of novel bioinformatics platforms in order to integrate this enormous data set with information generated from the emerging fields of genomics and proteomic analysis. Despite these challenges, lipidomics is likely to result in the reclassification of diseases from a molecular perspective and play a key role the eventuation of personalized medicine.
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