Intermediate Lipoproteins, Atherosclerosis, and Gofman
To the Editor:
I was keenly disappointed that Dr Hodis and his coworkers (Circulation. 1997;95:2022–2026) failed to refer to Gofman and his work on the relationship between the intermediate lipoproteins (SF 12 to 20) and atherosclerosis. This failure is especially egregious because Gofman’s work and Hodis and his coworkers’ work were both done at the same institution, the Donner Laboratory, Gofman’s work preceding Hodis by almost a half century.
Gofman’s work is also an excellent illustration of how a consensus report composed by many distinguished investigators at the time and chaired by the giant Ernest Page, who together with Braun-Menéndez simultaneously and independently described the “true nature” of renin and angiotensin,1 was wrong.2
The overwhelming denial of Gofman’s work probably discouraged him and other investigators from trying to determine the paths taken by the individual classes of lipoprotein cholesterol.
Gofman was also a vigorous and vocal opponent of the Vietnam War.
No history of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis (or the Vietnam War) is complete without mentioning Gofman’s pioneering work on lipoproteins.
- Copyright © 1998 by American Heart Association
Page IH, McCubbin JW. The Physiology of Arterial Hypertension: Handbook of Physiology—Section 2, Circulation. Washington, DC: American Physiological Society; 1965;III:2163–2208.
Gofman JW, Hanig M, Jones HB, Laufer MA, Lawry EY, Lewis LA, Mann GV, Moore FE, Olmsted F, Yeager JF. Evaluation of serum lipoproteins and cholesterol measurements as predictors of clinical complications of atherosclerosis. Circulation. 1956;14:691–725.
Dr Soloff is correct in noting our oversight in not citing Dr Gofman’s pioneering studies, which demonstrated the association of intermediate density lipoproteins with coronary heart disease. Our findings involved quantitative measurement of atherosclerosis progression rather than clinical end points, which were the focus of Dr Gofman’s observations. However, we agree that his work should have been cited in our paper, particularly since the measurements were performed using his original methodology.
Dr Gofman’s many early contributions to the field of atherosclerosis should be highlighted at every opportunity, and we welcome the opportunity to do so here.