“Good” cholesterol counteracts atherosclerosis in diabetic mice

A new study confirms the importance of the so-called “good cholesterol,” technically also known as High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), which contrasts with the “bad cholesterol” (Low-Density Lipoprotein).

The new research, published today in Circulation, takes in particular into consideration atherosclerosis, a pathology that sees the formation of plaques in the walls of blood vessels due to a too high level of cholesterol. The study, conducted by researchers at the New York University medical school, shows that raising the levels of a “simple and functional” version of the so-called good cholesterol can reverse the same progression as atherosclerosis.

The researchers performed experiments on diabetic mice. On the latter, they increased the amount of apolipoprotein AI (apoA-I), a phospholipid-bound protein that is the basis of HDL. By increasing HDL, the multiplication of immune cells caused by cholesterol in the bone marrow and plaques stopped in mice and improved the reversal of the processes of atherosclerotic disease by 30% in those mice that had already been treated with therapies to lower bad cholesterol.

Furthermore, by increasing HDL levels, neutrophils, a type of immune cell, were prevented from contributing to increased inflammation and clot formation that can further block blood flow.

By Bob Miller

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

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