High-Density Lipoprotein: A New Therapeutic Target for Glucose Intolerance?
For over 50 years it has been known that elevated high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is preventative against the development of atherosclerosis1. Besides its role in cholesterol removal, HDL is also an antioxidant2, 3, it inhibits inflammation4 and thrombosis5 and also stimulates endothelial nitric oxide (NO)6 and prostacyclin7 release. In addition to these cardiovascular protective actions, recent research findings have elucidated the important role of HDL and its constitutive apoprotein components for glucose metabolism. HDL can lower blood glucose levels by mechanisms that include stimulation of insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells8, 9 and activation of the AMPK signaling pathway in skeletal muscle8, 10. These findings have opened up for an important area of investigation, especially given the increasing prevalence of metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes.
- Received October 18, 2013.
- Accepted October 21, 2013.