Qualité et fonctionnalité des lipoprotéines de haute densité : impact sur l'athérosclérose et sur le risque de maladies cardiovasculaires

 

Benoit Arsenault

Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec

 

Domaine : santé circulatoire et respiratoire

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2014-2015

Low blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (also know as "the good cholesterol") are frequently observed in these individuals at high risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The main function of HDL is to remove cholesterol from atherosclerotic plaques and excrete it out of the body via the liver and the intestines. However, whether or not raising blood levels of HDL cholesterol will provide benefits for the prevention of CVD in primary and secondary prevention is still unknown. Additionally, although carrying high levels of HDL cholesterol is important for several body functions, having high levels of HDL cholesterol does not mean that HDL particles are necessary competent for removing the excess cholesterol in coronary arteries plaques.

This research program will generate over the next four years considerable experimental, clinical and epidemiological evidence that will define the specific role HDL subfractions, its structural elements and its functional capacities in the modulation of cardiovascular risk. This research project has two global objectives. The first one is to study further the relationship between HDL functional properties (as assessed by a novel and innovative measurement of HDL functionality called ex vivo reverse cholesterol transport [evRCT]) and their genetic contributors and atherosclerosis risk.

The second one is to determine the association between specific compartments of body fat accumulation AND mobilization on HDL functional properties. The objectives of this research project are supported by a wealth of literature that the applicants have highly contributed to. Ultimately, our objective with this project is to lay the ground for large-scale phase 3 outcome trials that will determine whether targeting HDL functionality will lead to a reduction in cardiovascular outcomes more efficiently than simply targeting HDL cholesterol levels.