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HDL, Atherosclerosis, and Emerging Therapies

1 , 2 , *

Cholesterol

Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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      Abstract

      This review aims to provide an overview on the properties of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) and their cardioprotective effects. Emergent HDL therapies will be presented in the context of the current understanding of HDL function, metabolism, and protective antiatherosclerotic properties. The epidemiological association between levels of HDL-C or its major apolipoprotein (apoA-I) is strong, graded, and coherent across populations. HDL particles mediate cellular cholesterol efflux, have antioxidant properties, and modulate vascular inflammation and vasomotor function and thrombosis. A link of causality has been cast into doubt with Mendelian randomization data suggesting that genes causing HDL-C deficiency are not associated with increased cardiovascular risk, nor are genes associated with increased HDL-C, with a protective effect. Despite encouraging data from small studies, drugs that increase HDL-C levels have not shown an effect on major cardiovascular end-points in large-scale clinical trials. It is likely that the cholesterol mass within HDL particles is a poor biomarker of therapeutic efficacy. In the present review, we will focus on novel therapeutic avenues and potential biomarkers of HDL function. A better understanding of HDL antiatherogenic functions including reverse cholesterol transport, vascular protective and antioxidation effects will allow novel insight on novel, emergent therapies for cardiovascular prevention.

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      Biological, Clinical, and Population Relevance of 95 Loci for Blood Lipids

      Serum concentrations of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides (TG) are among the most important risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) and are targets for therapeutic intervention. We screened the genome for common variants associated with serum lipids in >100,000 individuals of European ancestry. Here we report 95 significantly associated loci (P < 5 × 10-8), with 59 showing genome-wide significant association with lipid traits for the first time. The newly reported associations include single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near known lipid regulators (e.g., CYP7A1, NPC1L1, and SCARB1) as well as in scores of loci not previously implicated in lipoprotein metabolism. The 95 loci contribute not only to normal variation in lipid traits but also to extreme lipid phenotypes and impact lipid traits in three non-European populations (East Asians, South Asians, and African Americans). Our results identify several novel loci associated with serum lipids that are also associated with CAD. Finally, we validated three of the novel genes—GALNT2, PPP1R3B, and TTC39B—with experiments in mouse models. Taken together, our findings provide the foundation to develop a broader biological understanding of lipoprotein metabolism and to identify new therapeutic opportunities for the prevention of CAD.
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        Efficacy and safety of more intensive lowering of LDL cholesterol: a meta-analysis of data from 170 000 participants in 26 randomised trials

        Summary Background Lowering of LDL cholesterol with standard statin regimens reduces the risk of occlusive vascular events in a wide range of individuals. We aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of more intensive lowering of LDL cholesterol with statin therapy. Methods We undertook meta-analyses of individual participant data from randomised trials involving at least 1000 participants and at least 2 years' treatment duration of more versus less intensive statin regimens (five trials; 39 612 individuals; median follow-up 5·1 years) and of statin versus control (21 trials; 129 526 individuals; median follow-up 4·8 years). For each type of trial, we calculated not only the average risk reduction, but also the average risk reduction per 1·0 mmol/L LDL cholesterol reduction at 1 year after randomisation. Findings In the trials of more versus less intensive statin therapy, the weighted mean further reduction in LDL cholesterol at 1 year was 0·51 mmol/L. Compared with less intensive regimens, more intensive regimens produced a highly significant 15% (95% CI 11–18; p<0·0001) further reduction in major vascular events, consisting of separately significant reductions in coronary death or non-fatal myocardial infarction of 13% (95% CI 7–19; p<0·0001), in coronary revascularisation of 19% (95% CI 15–24; p<0·0001), and in ischaemic stroke of 16% (95% CI 5–26; p=0·005). Per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, these further reductions in risk were similar to the proportional reductions in the trials of statin versus control. When both types of trial were combined, similar proportional reductions in major vascular events per 1·0 mmol/L LDL cholesterol reduction were found in all types of patient studied (rate ratio [RR] 0·78, 95% CI 0·76–0·80; p<0·0001), including those with LDL cholesterol lower than 2 mmol/L on the less intensive or control regimen. Across all 26 trials, all-cause mortality was reduced by 10% per 1·0 mmol/L LDL reduction (RR 0·90, 95% CI 0·87–0·93; p<0·0001), largely reflecting significant reductions in deaths due to coronary heart disease (RR 0·80, 99% CI 0·74–0·87; p<0·0001) and other cardiac causes (RR 0·89, 99% CI 0·81–0·98; p=0·002), with no significant effect on deaths due to stroke (RR 0·96, 95% CI 0·84–1·09; p=0·5) or other vascular causes (RR 0·98, 99% CI 0·81–1·18; p=0·8). No significant effects were observed on deaths due to cancer or other non-vascular causes (RR 0·97, 95% CI 0·92–1·03; p=0·3) or on cancer incidence (RR 1·00, 95% CI 0·96–1·04; p=0·9), even at low LDL cholesterol concentrations. Interpretation Further reductions in LDL cholesterol safely produce definite further reductions in the incidence of heart attack, of revascularisation, and of ischaemic stroke, with each 1·0 mmol/L reduction reducing the annual rate of these major vascular events by just over a fifth. There was no evidence of any threshold within the cholesterol range studied, suggesting that reduction of LDL cholesterol by 2–3 mmol/L would reduce risk by about 40–50%. Funding UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, European Community Biomed Programme, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and National Heart Foundation.
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          Effects of torcetrapib in patients at high risk for coronary events.

          Inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) has been shown to have a substantial effect on plasma lipoprotein levels. We investigated whether torcetrapib, a potent CETP inhibitor, might reduce major cardiovascular events. The trial was terminated prematurely because of an increased risk of death and cardiac events in patients receiving torcetrapib. We conducted a randomized, double-blind study involving 15,067 patients at high cardiovascular risk. The patients received either torcetrapib plus atorvastatin or atorvastatin alone. The primary outcome was the time to the first major cardiovascular event, which was defined as death from coronary heart disease, nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, or hospitalization for unstable angina. At 12 months in patients who received torcetrapib, there was an increase of 72.1% in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and a decrease of 24.9% in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, as compared with baseline (P<0.001 for both comparisons), in addition to an increase of 5.4 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure, a decrease in serum potassium, and increases in serum sodium, bicarbonate, and aldosterone (P<0.001 for all comparisons). There was also an increased risk of cardiovascular events (hazard ratio, 1.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09 to 1.44; P=0.001) and death from any cause (hazard ratio, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.19; P=0.006). Post hoc analyses showed an increased risk of death in patients treated with torcetrapib whose reduction in potassium or increase in bicarbonate was greater than the median change. Torcetrapib therapy resulted in an increased risk of mortality and morbidity of unknown mechanism. Although there was evidence of an off-target effect of torcetrapib, we cannot rule out adverse effects related to CETP inhibition. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00134264 [ClinicalTrials.gov].). Copyright 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            1McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1A1
            2Faculty of Medicine, Center for Innovative Medicine, McGill University Health Center, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University, 687 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1A1
            Author notes

            Academic Editor: Francisco Blanco-Vaca

            Journal
            Cholesterol
            Cholesterol
            CHOL
            Cholesterol
            Hindawi Publishing Corporation
            2090-1283
            2090-1291
            2013
            28 May 2013
            : 2013
            23781332
            3678415
            10.1155/2013/891403
            Copyright © 2013 A. Hafiane and J. Genest.

            This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Review Article

            Cardiovascular Medicine

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