High-density lipoproteins (HDL) is one of the 5 major groups of
lipoproteins ( chylomicrons, VLDL, IDL, LDL, HDL) which enable lipidslike cholesteroland triglyceridesto be transported within the water based bloodstream. In healthy individuals, about thirty percent of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL [http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=180 LDL and HDL Cholesterol: What's Bad and What's Good? ] ] .
It is hypothesized that HDL can remove cholesterol from
atheromawithin arteries and transport it back to the liver for excretion or re-utilization—which is the main reason why HDL-bound cholesterol is sometimes called "good cholesterol", or HDL-C. A high level of HDL-C seems to protect against cardiovascular diseases, and low HDL cholesterol levels (less than 40 mg/dL) increase the risk for heart disease. When measuring cholesterol, any contained in HDL particles is considered as protection to the body's cardiovascular health, in contrast to "bad" LDL cholesterol.
Structure and function
HDL are the smallest of the
lipoproteinparticles. They are the densest because they contain the highest proportion of protein. Their most abundant apolipoproteins are apo A-I and apo A-II. [cite web|author= Baylor College of Medicine, Lipids Online|url= http://www.lipidsonline.org/slides/slide01.cfm?q=apolipoprotein&dpg=59|date=January 29, 2001 |accessdate=February 20|accessyear=2006|title=Heterogeneity of HDL] The liver synthesizes these lipoproteins as complexes of apolipoproteins and phospholipid, which resemble cholesterol-free flattened spherical lipoprotein particles. They are capable of picking up cholesterol, carried internally, from cells by interaction with the ATP Binding Cassette Transporter A1 (ABCA1). A plasma enzyme called lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase(LCAT) converts the free cholesterol into cholesteryl ester (a more hydrophobic form of cholesterol) which is then sequestered into the core of the lipoprotein particle eventually making the newly synthesized HDL spherical. They increase in size as they circulate through the bloodstream and incorporate more cholesterol and phospholipid molecules from cells and other lipoproteins, for example by the interaction with the ABCG1 transporter and the phospholipid transport protein (PLTP).
HDL deliver their cholesterol mostly to the
liveror steroidogenic organs such as adrenals, ovaryand testesby direct and indirect pathways. The direct HDL removal pathways involve HDL receptors such as scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI) which mediate the selective uptake of cholesterol from HDL. In humans, the probably most relevant pathway is the indirect one, which is mediated by cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP). This protein exchanges triglycerides of VLDLagainst cholesteryl esters of HDL. As the result, VLDL are processed to LDLwhich are removed from the circulation by the LDL receptorpathway. The triglycerides are not stable in HDL, but degraded by hepatic lipaseso that finaly small HDL particles are left which restart the uptake of cholesterol from cells.
The cholesterol delivered to the liver is excreted into the
bileand hence intestineeither directly or indirectly after conversion into bile acids. Delivery of HDL cholesterol to adrenals, ovaries and testes are important for the synthesis of steroid hormones.
Several steps in the metabolism of HDL can contribute to the transport of cholesterol from lipid laden
macrophagesof atherosclerotic arteries, termed foam cells to the liver for secretion into the bile. This pathway has been termed reverse cholesterol transport and is considered as the classical protective function of HDL towards atherosclerosis.
However, HDL carries many lipid and protein species, many of which have very low concentrations but are biologically very active. For example, HDL and their protein and lipid constituents help to inhibit
oxidation, inflammation, activation of the endothelium, coagulationor platelet aggregation. All these properties may contribute to the ability of HDL to protect from atherosclerosis and it is not known, what ist most important.
In the stress response,
serum amyloid A, which is one of the acute phase proteinsand an apolipoprotein, is under the stimulation of cytokines (IL-1, IL-6) and cortisolproduced in the adrenal cortexand carried to the damaged tissue incorporated into HDL particles. At the inflammation site, it attracts and activates leukocytes. In chronic inflammations, its deposition in the tissues manifests itself as amyloidosis.
It has been postulated that the concentration of large HDL particles more accurately reflects protective action, as opposed to the concentration of total HDL particles. [Kwiterovich PO. The Metabolic Pathways of High-Density Lipoprotein, Low-Density Lipoprotein, and Triglycerides: A Current Review. Am J Cardiol 2000;86(suppl):5L.] This ratio of large HDL to total HDL particles varies widely and is only measured by more sophisticated lipoprotein assays using either
electrophoresis(the original method developed in the 1970s), or newer NMR spectroscopymethods (See also: NMR and spectroscopy), developed in the 1990s.
Men tend to have noticeably lower HDL levels, with smaller size and lower cholesterol content, than women. Men also have an increased incidence of atherosclerotic heart disease.
Epidemiological studies have shown that high concentrations of HDL (over 60 mg/dL) have protective value against
cardiovascular diseases such as ischemic strokeand myocardial infarction. Low concentrations of HDL (below 40 mg/dL for men, below 50 mg/dL for women) increase the risk for atheroscleroticdiseases.
Data from the landmark
Framingham Heart Studyshowed that for a given level of LDL, the risk of heart disease increases 10-fold as the HDL varies from high to low. Conversely, for a fixed level of HDL, the risk increases 3-fold as LDL varies from low to high.
Even people with very low LDL levels are exposed to some increased risk if their HDL levels are not high enough. [Philip Barter, M.D. [http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/357/13/1301 HDL Cholesterol, Very Low Levels of LDL Cholesterol, and Cardiovascular Events] , September 27, 2007; NEJM]
American Heart Association, NIHand NCEP provides a set of guidelines for male fasting HDL levels and risk for heart disease.
Many laboratories used a two-step method : chemical precipitation of lipoproteins containing apoprotein B, then calculating HDL as cholesterol remaining in the supernate [http://www.clinchem.org/cgi/content/short/44/5/1050 ] but there are also direct methods [http://www.med.umich.edu/mdrtc/cores/ChemCore/lipids.htm Lipid Measurement Fact Sheet] .Labs use the routine dextran sulfate-Mg2+ precipitation methodwith ultracentrifugation/dextran sulfate-Mg2+ precipitation as reference method [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TDD-3X5GP14-5&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=ee1cd62ecd1496a88a9e46b8e4ff1b90 Homogeneous HDL-cholesterol assay versus ultracentrifugation/dextran sulfate-Mg2+ precipitation and dextran sulfate-Mg2+ precipitation. 1998] .
HPLCcan be used [http://www.citeulike.org/user/biblio24/article/2461070 Evaluation of precipitation and direct methods for HDL-cholesterol assay by HPLC. 1997] .See also [Clinical Chemistry By Larry E. Schoeff] .
Subfractions (HDL-2C, HDL-3C) can be measured [http://www.jlr.org/cgi/content/abstract/49/5/1130 measuring HDL-cholesterol subfractions by a single precipitation followed by homogenous HDL-cholesterol assay] and have clinical significance.
A link has been shown between level of HDL and onset of dementia. Those with high HDL were less likely to have dementia. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/health/research/01agin.html New York Times July 1st 2008] ] Low HDL-C in late-middle age has also been associated with memory loss. [ [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=18591462&dopt=Abstract Low HDL cholesterol is a risk factor for deficit a... [Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008 - PubMed Result ] ]
Pharmacological therapy to increase the level of HDL cholesterol includes use of
fibrates and niacin. Consumption of pharmacologic doses of niacin can increase HDL levels by 10–30%, [cite web|url=http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/479499_5|accessdate=December 16|accessyear=2007|title=Raising HDL in Clinical Practice] and it is the most powerful agent currently available to increase HDL-cholesterol.Raising HDL-Cholesterol and Reducing Cardiovascular Risk. Medscape Cardiology http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/520393] [Chapman M, Assmann G, Fruchart J, Shepherd J, Sirtori C. "Raising high-density lipoprotein cholesterol with reduction of cardiovascular risk: the role of nicotinic acid - a position paper developed by the European Consensus Panel on HDL-C". Cur Med Res Opin. 2004 Aug;20(8):1253-68. PMID|15324528] A randomized clinical trial demonstrated that such treatments can significantly reduce atherosclerosis progression and cardiovascular events.Reducing risk by raising HDL-cholesterol: the evidence. # European Heart Journal Supplements Vol 8 Suppl F p. F23-F29 http://eurheartjsupp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/8/suppl_F/F23] However, niacin products sold as "no-flush", "i.e." not having side effects such as "niacin flush", do not contain free nicotinic acid and are therefore ineffective at raising HDL, while products sold as "sustained release" may contain free nicotinic acid, but "some brands are hepatotoxic"; therefore the recommended form of niacin for raising HDL is the cheapest, immediate release preparation. [" [http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/139/12/996 Varying Cost and Free Nicotinic Acid Content in Over-the-Counter Niacin Preparations for Dyslipidemia] "; C. Daniel Meyers, MD; Molly C. Carr, MD; Sang Park, PhD; and John D. Brunzell, MD; Annals of Internal Medicine139, issue 12; December 16, 2003, pages 996-1002] Torcetrapib, a promising new drug developed by Pfizer to raise HDL by inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP), was terminated after a greater percentage of patients treated with torcetrapib- Lipitorcombination died compared with patients treated with Lipitoralone. Merck is currently researching a similar molecule called anacetrapib.
Diet and lifestyle
Certain changes in lifestyle can have a positive impact on raising HDL levels: [cite web|author= Richard N. Fogoros, M.D.|url= http://heartdisease.about.com/cs/cholesterol/a/raiseHDL.htm|accessdate=July 29|accessyear=2006|title=Raising Your HDL Levels]
Aerobic exercise[Spate-Douglas, T., Keyser, R. E. Exercise intensity: its effect on the high-density lipoprotein profile. "Arch Phys Med Rehabil 80", 691-695. PMID|10378497]
* Removing trans fatty acids from the diet
* One drink of
alcohola day or less yields higher HDL-C levels, more so in women than men. HDL transports cholesterol to the liver and cholesterol is known to have a protective effect on the cell membrane. It is likely that this reflects the liver's need for more cholesterol to protect itself from the alcohol. [ cite web|author=Gerdi Weidner, PhD; Sonja L. Connor, MS, RD; Margaret A. Chesney, PhD; John W. Burns, MA; William E. Connor, MD; Joseph D. Matarazzo, PhD; and Nancy R. Mendell, PhD|url=http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/83/1/176.pdf|accessyear=2008|accessdate=March 14|title=Sex, alcohol, and HDL - high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; Family Heart Study, Portland, Oregon|format=PDF]
* Adding soluble fiber to diet
* Using supplements such as
omega 3fish oil [cite web|publisher=The Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute|url=http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/omega3.aspx|accessdate=July 21|accessyear=2008|title=The Power of Fish ]
* Limiting intake of dietary fat to 30–35% of total caloriesfact|date=December 2007
Low density lipoprotein
* [http://www.bajarcolesterol.com/hdl-colesterol/hdl-colesterol.html El hdl]
* [http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atp3_rpt.htm Adult Treatment Panel III Full Report]
* [http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atp3upd04.htm ATP III Update 2004]
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