Alterations in plasma apolipoproteins levels can influence the composition, content, and distribution of plasma lipoproteins that affect the risk of atherosclerosis. This study assessed the relationship between plasma apolipoproteins levels, mainly apoAI, and HDL subclass distribution. The contents of plasma HDL subclasses were determined by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with immunodetection in 545 Chinese subjects. Compared with a low apoAI group, the contents of all HDL subclasses increased significantly both in middle and high apoAI group, and the contents of large-sized HDL<inf>2b</inf> increased more significantly relative to those of small-sized preβ<inf>1</inf>-HDL in a high apoAI group. When apoAI and HDL-C levels increased simultaneously, in comparison to a low apoAI along with HDL-C concentration group, a significant increase (116%) was shown in HDL2b but only a slight increase (26%) in preβ1-HDL. In addition, Pearson correlation analysis revealed that apoAI levels were positively and significantly correlated with all HDL subclasses. Multiple liner regression demonstrated that the apoAI concentrations were the most powerful predictor for HDL subclass distribution. With the elevation of apoAI concentrations, the contents of all HDL subclasses increased successively and significantly, especially, an increase in large-sized HDL<inf>2b</inf>. Further, when apoAI and HDL-C concentrations increased simultaneously, the shift to larger HDL size was more obvious. Which, in turn, indicated that HDL maturation might be enhanced and, the reverse cholesterol transport might be strengthened along with apoAI levels which might be a more powerful factor influencing the distribution of HDL subclasses. ©AOCS 2007.