High Density Lipoprotein and it’s Dysfunction

The Open Biochemistry Journal 27 July 2012 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874091X01206010078


Plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol(HDL-C) levels do not predict functionality and composition of high-density lipoprotein(HDL). Traditionally, keeping levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol(LDL-C) down and HDL-C up have been the goal of patients to prevent atherosclerosis that can lead to coronary vascular disease(CVD). People think about the HDL present in their cholesterol test, but not about its functional capability.

Up to 65% of cardiovascular death cannot be prevented by putative LDL-C lowering agents. It well explains the strong interest in HDL increasing strategies. However, recent studies have questioned the good in using drugs to increase level of HDL. While raising HDL is a theoretically attractive target, the optimal approach remains uncertain. The attention has turned to the quality, rather than the quantity, of HDL-C. An alternative to elevations in HDL involves strategies to enhance HDL functionality.

The situation poses an opportunity for clinical chemists to take the lead in the development and validation of such biomarkers. The best known function of HDL is the capacity to promote cellular cholesterol efflux from peripheral cells and deliver cholesterol to the liver for excretion, thereby playing a key role in reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). The functions of HDL that have recently attracted attention include anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities. High antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of HDL are associated with protection from CVD.

This review addresses the current state of knowledge regarding assays of HDL functions and their relationship to CVD. HDL as a therapeutic target is the new frontier with huge potential for positive public health implications.

Keywords: High density lipoprotein, HDL, HDL functionality, HDL dysfunction, HDL proteins, HDL subtypes.
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