Aggregation Susceptibility of Low-Density Lipoproteins—A Novel Modifiable Biomarker of Cardiovascular Risk

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Öörni, K.; Kovanen, P.T. Aggregation Susceptibility of Low-Density Lipoproteins—A Novel Modifiable Biomarker of Cardiovascular Risk. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 1769.

Title: Aggregation Susceptibility of Low-Density Lipoproteins—A Novel Modifiable Biomarker of Cardiovascular Risk
Author: Öörni, Katariina; Kovanen, Petri T.
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Date: 2021-04-19
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/329344
Abstract: Circulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles enter the arterial intima where they bind to the extracellular matrix and become modified by lipases, proteases, and oxidizing enzymes and agents. The modified LDL particles aggregate and fuse into larger matrix-bound lipid droplets and, upon generation of unesterified cholesterol, cholesterol crystals are also formed. Uptake of the aggregated/fused particles and cholesterol crystals by macrophages and smooth muscle cells induces their inflammatory activation and conversion into foam cells. In this review, we summarize the causes and consequences of LDL aggregation and describe the development and applications of an assay capable of determining the susceptibility of isolated LDL particles to aggregate when exposed to human recombinant sphingomyelinase enzyme ex vivo. Significant person-to-person differences in the aggregation susceptibility of LDL particles were observed, and such individual differences largely depended on particle lipid composition. The presence of aggregation-prone LDL in the circulation predicted future cardiovascular events in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. We also discuss means capable of reducing LDL particles’ aggregation susceptibility that could potentially inhibit LDL aggregation in the arterial wall. Whether reductions in LDL aggregation susceptibility are associated with attenuated atherogenesis and a reduced risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases remains to be studied.


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