High-density lipoproteins as therapeutic targets

Stephen J. Nicholls, Kerry Anne Rye, Philip J. Barter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review: The concentration of cholesterol in HDL is an inverse predictor of future cardiovascular disease, with evidence mounting that therapies that increase HDL concentration are antiatherogenic. The best known antiatherogenic function of HDL particles relates to their ability to promote the efflux of cholesterol from cells. However, they also have antioxidant, antiinflammatory and antithrombotic properties. Recent findings: The past year has seen the publication of several papers that highlight a potential major protective role of HDL in states of acute inflammation. Papers showing extremely promising results using novel inhibitors of cholesteryl ester transfer protein as HDL-raising agents have also appeared. Finally, the discovery that ATP-binding cassette transporter G1 (ABCG 1) transports cell cholesterol to large HDL particles in the extracellular space has largely reconciled apparent inconsistencies between basic research indicating that small, pre-β-migrating HDL particles are the antiatherogenic components of HDL and epidemiological research that implicates larger HDL particles as the protective fraction. Summary: The finding that ABCG1 promotes the efflux of cholesterol from cells to large HDL particles also provides powerful circumstantial evidence that cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibition (which increases HDL size) may enhance, rather than reduce, cholesterol efflux, and thus inhibit the development of atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Lipidology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Atherosclerosis
  • ATP-binding cassette transporter G1
  • Cholesterol
  • Cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibition
  • HDL

Cite this