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Curr Med Chem. 2019;26(9):1610-1630. doi: 10.2174/0929867325666180316115726.

Dysfunctional HDL as a Therapeutic Target for Atherosclerosis Prevention.

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Centro E. Grossi Paoletti, Dipartimento di Scienze Farmacologiche e Biomolecolari, UniversitĂ  degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.


Hypercholesterolemia is one of the main risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis. Among the various lipoprotein classes, however, high density lipoproteins (HDL) are inversely associated with the incidence of atherosclerosis, since they are able to exert a series of atheroprotective functions. The central role of HDL within the reverse cholesterol transport, their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to preserve endothelial homeostasis are likely responsible for HDL-mediated atheroprotection. However, drugs that effectively raise HDL-C failed to result in a decreased incidence of cardiovascular event, suggesting that plasma levels of HDL-C and HDL function are not always related. Several evidences are showing that different pathologic conditions, especially those associated with an inflammatory response, can cause dramatic alterations of HDL protein and lipid cargo resulting in HDL dysfunction. Established and investigational drugs designed to affect lipid metabolism and to increase HDL-C are only partly effective in correcting HDL dysfunction.


High density lipoproteins; atherosclerosis; autoimmune disorders; chronic kidney disease; coronary heart disease; diabetes; inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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