High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a heterogeneous particle composed of apolipoproteins, enzymes, and lipids. Besides transporting cholesterol to the liver, HDL also exerts many protections on anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, and anti-apoptosis. Initial understandings of HDL came from its protective roles against atherosclerosis and the observation that high plasma HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels seemed to decrease cardiovascular disease (CVD) attack. However, those patients either with cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) deficiency or taking CETP inhibitors substantially elevated HDL-C levels but did not necessarily decrease CVD risk. Thus, some researchers suggested that quantitative measurements of HDL particle (HDL-P) might be more valuable than traditional HDL-C measurements. What is more bewildering is that HDL from patients with systemic inflammation decreased its protective effects and even became a pro-inflammatory factor. Recently, synthesized HDL and apolipoprotein mimetic peptides showed biological functions similar to native ones. Expectedly, lots of novel measurement methods and therapeutic agents about HDL would be established soon.
Part of the book: Apolipoproteins, Triglycerides and Cholesterol