ABSTRACT: Plasma levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) have long been associated with protection against cardiovascular disease (CVD) in large populations. However, HDL-C has been significantly less useful for predicting CVD risk in individual patients. This has ignited a new debate on the merits of measuring HDL quantity versus quality in terms of protective potential. In addition, numerous recent studies have begun to uncover HDL functions that vary surprisingly from traditional lipid transport roles. In this paper, we review recent findings that point to important functions for HDL that go well beyond lipid transport. These discoveries suggest that HDL might be a platform that mediates protection from a host of disease states ranging from CVD to diabetes to infectious disease.
Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism 11/2010; 22(1):9-15. · 8.11 Impact Factor