The HDL hypothesis: does high-density lipoprotein protect from atherosclerosis?

Menno Vergeer, Adriaan G. Holleboom, John J. P. Kastelein, Jan Albert Kuivenhoven

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There is unequivocal evidence of an inverse association between plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations and the risk of cardiovascular disease, a finding that has led to the hypothesis that HDL protects from atherosclerosis. This review details the experimental evidence for this "HDL hypothesis". In vitro studies suggest that HDL has a wide range of anti-atherogenic properties but validation of these functions in humans is absent to date. A significant number of animal studies and clinical trials support an atheroprotective role for HDL; however, most of these findings were obtained in the context of marked changes in other plasma lipids. Finally, genetic studies in humans have not provided convincing evidence that HDL genes modulate cardiovascular risk. Thus, despite a wealth of information on this intriguing lipoprotein, future research remains essential to prove the HDL hypothesis correct.-Vergeer, M., A. G. Holleboom, J. J. P. Kastelein, and J. A. Kuivenhoven. The HDL hypothesis: does high-density lipoprotein protect from atherosclerosis? J. Lipid Res. 2010. 51: 2058-2073
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2058-2073
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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