BACKGROUND: HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) is a commonly used lipid biomarker for assessing cardiovascular health. While a central focus has been placed on the role of HDL in the reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) process, our appreciation for the other cardioprotective properties of HDL continues to expand with further investigation into the structure and function of HDL and its specific subfractions. The development of novel assays is empowering the research community to assess different aspects of HDL function, which at some point may evolve into new diagnostic tests. CONTENT: This review discusses our current understanding of the formation and maturation of HDLparticles via RCT, as well as the newly recognized roles of HDL outside RCT. The antioxidative, antiinflammatory, antiapoptotic, antithrombotic, antiinfective, and vasoprotective effects of HDL are all discussed, as are the related methodologies for assessing these different aspects of HDL function. We elaborate on the importance of protein and lipid composition of HDL in health and disease and highlight potential new diagnostic assays based on these parameters. SUMMARY: Although multiple epidemiologic studies have confirmed that HDL-C is a strong negative risk marker for cardiovascular disease, several clinical and experimental studies have yielded inconsistent results on the direct role of HDL-C as an antiatherogenic factor. As of yet, our increased understanding of HDL biology has not been translated into successful new therapies, but will undoubtedly depend on the development of alternative ways for measuring HDL besides its cholesterol content.
|Number of pages
|Published - Jan 2017
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Association for Clinical Chemistry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical