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Clin Cardiol. 1999 Jun;22(6 Suppl):II7-14.

Pathophysiology of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in atherothrombosis: cellular aspects.

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Department of Medicine/Gerontology and Geriatrics, University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294-0012, USA.


Elevated plasma levels of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TGRLP), including very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), chylomicrons, and their remnants, are now acknowledged as risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Interactions of TGRLP with lipoprotein receptors on monocytes, macrophages, and endothelial cells may be mechanistically linked to this risk. Triglyceride-rich lipoproteins from hypertriglyceridemic (HTG) subjects have the abnormal ability to bind to low-denisty lipoprotein receptors via apoE, and plasma chylomicrons from all subjects bind to a new, distinct receptor for apoB48 that is expressed specifically by monocytes, macrophages, and endothelial cells. Receptor binding and uptake of TGRLP by these cells are likely mechanisms involved in the formation of lipid-filled, macrophage-derived "foam cells" of atherosclerotic lesions and for defective fibrinolysis due to endothelial dysfunction. Recognition of the atherothrombogenic potential of TGRLP may lead to improved interventions to lessen or prevent the often fatal sequelae of coronary atherosclerosis and thrombosis associated with elevated plasma triglyceride levels.

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