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New pathway of macrophage cholesterol efflux - Commentary in PNAS

18 May 2020
  • Marit Westerterp and Alan R. Tall

Macrophage foam cells (i.e., cholesteryl ester-laden macrophages) are abundant in atherosclerotic plaques, and increased macrophage foam cell content is associated with plaque instability. Macrophages are generally thought to unload surplus cholesterol via efflux mediated by the ATP-binding cassette transporters A1 and G1 (ABCA1 and ABCG1) to apolipoprotein A1 and high-density lipoproteins HDLs, respectively. Several studies in large-population cohorts have shown that the cholesterol efflux capacity of HDL (i.e., its potential to act as an acceptor for cholesterol efflux from macrophages) is an inverse predictor of cardiovascular disease , highlighting the importance of cholesterol efflux as an atheroprotective mechanism.

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Last modified:20 May 2020 1.22 p.m.

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