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A new player in human atherosclerosis

PLOS

Karen Badellino and colleagues (University of Pennsylvania) had previously found a link between a molecule called endothelial lipase (EL) and atherosclerosis in mice. In mice, EL seems to decrease the levels of HDL-C, the "good cholesterol", and make the mice more prone to atherosclerosis. Overall, mice with lower levels of EL seemed to be better off. The question was whether EL levels influenced cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis in humans as well. Human studies until now had searched for a connection between different variants of the EL gene and atherosclerosis, but had not yielded clear answers.

In a study of over 800 patients, Badellino and colleagues now found a link between high EL concentrations in the blood, low levels of HDL-C, and early stages of atherosclerosis. This suggests that EL concentrations influence the development of atherosclerosis in humans as well and might be useful to predict an individual's risk.

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Citation: Badellino KO, Wolfe ML, Reilly MP, Rader DJ (2006) Endothelial lipase concentrations are increased in metabolic syndrome and associated with coronary atherosclerosis. PLoS Med 3(2): e22.

CONTACT:
Dr. Karen Badellino
University of Pennsylvania
Institute for Experimental Medicine and Therapeutics
Room 646 BRB II/III
421 Curie Blvd
Philadelphia, PA USA 19104
+1-215-898-5909
+1-215-573-8606 (fax)
kbadelli@mail.med.upenn.edu

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