Monday, March 19, 2007
Researchers investigating the antiatherosclerotic properties of high-density
lipoprotein unexpectedly found multiple complement-associated proteins and other
proteins involved in inflammation in HDL isolated from patients with coronary
artery disease. The findings, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation,
suggest that HDL may play a previously unsuspected role in regulating the
complement system and protecting tissue from proteolysis.
"The findings indicate that HDL can have functions besides lipid metabolism
and lipid transport and that its function can change with the disease," said
Tomas Vaisar, lead author of the paper and research assistant professor of medicine
in the division of metabolism, endocrinology and nutrition at the University
of Washington School of Medicine.