High-density lipoprotein metabolism and progression of atherosclerosis: new insights from the HDL Atherosclerosis Treatment Study

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Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is to summarize the current understanding of the potentially antiatherogenic properties of high-density lipoprotein related to its different components.

Recent findings

Recent findings on the role of the different high-density lipoprotein subspecies in reverse cholesterol transport, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and low-density lipoprotein oxidation are covered. Special emphasis is put on the heterogeneity of high-density lipoprotein and functional changes related to specific high-density lipoprotein particles with the potential therapeutic alterations of high-density lipoprotein metabolism.


The diverse action of high-density lipoprotein observed could be explained by the heterogeneity of high-density lipoprotein particles with completely different composition and properties. The modification of specific high-density lipoprotein subpopulations to reach the maximum atheroprotective effects under various pathologic conditions bears great potential in lipid research.

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