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HDLs, immunity, and atherosclerosis

Norata, Giuseppe D.a , b; Pirillo, Angelab , c; Catapano, Alberico L.a , c

doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e32834adac3
Atherosclerosis: cell biology and lipoproteins: Edited by Petri T. Kovanen and Andrew Newby

Purpose of review HDLs possess several physiological activities that may explain their antiatherosclerotic properties. Among them, the most relevant is the ability of HDL to promote the efflux of excess cholesterol from peripheral tissues to the liver for excretion.

Recent findings The ability of HDL to promote cholesterol efflux results also in the modulation of a series of responses in the immune cells involved in atherosclerosis, including monocyte-macrophages, B and T lymphocytes. HDL also acts as a reservoir for a number of biologically active substances that may impact the immune system, and as the HDL composition varies to a large extent during inflammation.

Summary The understanding of how these interactions take place and how biologically active substances can be delivered to relevant targets during atherogenesis is of great interest and may provide a better understanding for the role of HDL in atherogenesis.

aDepartment of Pharmacological Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano

bCentro SISA per lo Studio dell’Aterosclerosi, Ospedale Bassini, Cinisello Balsamo

cIRCCS, Multimedica, Milan, Italy

Correspondence to Alberico L. Catapano, PhD, Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan, Italy. Via Balzaretti 9, 20133, Milan, Italy Tel: +39 02 50318302; fax: +39 02 50318386; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.