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Molecular mechanisms responsible for the antiinflammatory and protective effect of HDL

Authors Giuseppe D Norata, Alberico L Catapano

Published 15 July 2005 Volume 2005:1(2) Pages 119—129

Giuseppe D Norata1, Alberico L Catapano1,2

1Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan, Italy; 2Centro per lo Studio e la Prevenzione delle Vasculopatie Periferiche, Ospedale Bassini, Cinisello Balsamo, Italy

Abstract: In addition to their role in reverse cholesterol transport, high-density lipoproteins (HDL) exert several beneficial effects, including the prevention and correction of endothelial dysfunction. HDL promote endothelium proliferation and diminish endothelial apoptosis; they play a key role in vasorelaxation by increasing the release of nitric oxide and prostacyclin through the induction of the expression and the activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and the coupling of cyclooxygenase 2 and prostacyclin synthase. In addition, HDL affect coagulation, fibrynolisis, platelet adhesion, adhesion molecules, and protease expression, and they exert antioxidant activity. These effects are achieved at the gene expression level and are dependent on the activation of several intracellular signaling pathways, including PI3K/Akt, ERK1/2, PKC, and p38MAPK. The complexity of the signaling pathways modulated by HDL reflects the different effects of the components of this class of lipoproteins such as apolipoproteins or lipids on endothelial cell gene expression and the subsequent modulation of endothelial function observed. The in vivo relevance of these findings to endothelial recovery during physiological or pathological conditions remains to be addressed; nevertheless, the results of clinical studies with synthetic HDL, ApoA-I mimetics, and drugs that are becoming available that selectively affect HDL plasma levels and biological functions support the importance of the correction of endothelial function by HDL.
Keywords: HDL, endothelium, inflammation, molecular mechanisms, gene expression, intracellular kinases

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