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Review Article

Type 2 Diabetes and HDL Dysfunction: A Key Contributor to Glycemic Control

[ Vol. 31 , Issue. 3 ]


Noemi Rotllan, Josep Julve* and Joan Carles Escolà-Gil*   Pages 280 - 285 ( 6 )


High-density lipoproteins (HDL) have been shown to exert multiple cardioprotective and antidiabetic functions, such as their ability to promote cellular cholesterol efflux and their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic properties. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is usually associated with low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels as well as with significant alterations in the HDL composition, thereby impairing its main functions. HDL dysfunction also negatively impacts both pancreatic β-cell function and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, perpetuating this adverse self-feeding cycle. The impairment of these pathways is partly dependent on cellular ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABC) A1-mediated efflux to lipid-poor apolipoprotein (apo) A-I in the extracellular space. In line with these findings, experimental interventions aimed at improving HDL functions, such as infusions of synthetic HDL or lipid-poor apoA-I, significantly improved glycemic control in T2D patients and experimental models of the disease. Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors are specific drugs designed to increase HDLC and HDL functions. Posthoc analyses of large clinical trials with CETP inhibitors have demonstrated their potential anti-diabetic properties. Research on HDL functionality and HDL-based therapies could be a crucial step toward improved glycemic control in T2D subjects.


Cholesterol, β-cell, HDL, insulin resistance, skeletal muscle, type 2 diabetes.


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