Deciphering the Role of Lipid Droplets in Cardiovascular Disease: A Report From the 2017 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Workshop

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Abstract

Lipid droplets (LDs) are distinct and dynamic organelles that affect the health of cells and organs. Much progress has been made in understanding how these structures are formed, how they interact with other cellular organelles, how they are used for storage of triacylglycerol in adipose tissue, and how they regulate lipolysis. Our understanding of the biology of LDs in the heart and vascular tissue is relatively primitive in comparison with LDs in adipose tissue and liver. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute convened a working group to discuss how LDs affect cardiovascular diseases. The goal of the working group was to examine the current state of knowledge on the cell biology of LDs, including current methods to study them in cells and organs and reflect on how LDs influence the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases. This review summarizes the working group discussion and recommendations on research areas ripe for future investigation that will likely improve our understanding of atherosclerosis and heart function.

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