The role of high-density lipoproteins in diabetes and its vascular complications

Nathan K.P. Wong, Stephen J. Nicholls, Joanne T.M. Tan, Christina A. Bursill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Almost 600 million people are predicted to have diabetes mellitus (DM) by 2035. Diabetic patients suffer from increased rates of microvascular and macrovascular complications, associated with dyslipidaemia, impaired angiogenic responses to ischaemia, accelerated atherosclerosis, and inflammation. Despite recent treatment advances, many diabetic patients remain refractory to current approaches, highlighting the need for alternative agents. There is emerging evidence that high-density lipoproteins (HDL) are able to rescue diabetes-related vascular complications through diverse mechanisms. Such protective functions of HDL, however, can be rendered dysfunctional within the pathological milieu of DM, triggering the development of vascular complications. HDL-modifying therapies remain controversial as many have had limited benefits on cardiovascular risk, although more recent trials are showing promise. This review will discuss the latest data from epidemiological, clinical, and pre-clinical studies demonstrating various roles for HDL in diabetes and its vascular complications that have the potential to facilitate its successful translation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1680
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Complications
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Dysfunctional
  • Dyslipidaemia
  • High-density lipoprotein
  • Macrovascular
  • Microvascular

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