Infection and inflammation-induced proatherogenic changes of lipoproteins

J Infect Dis. 2000 Jun;181 Suppl 3:S462-72. doi: 10.1086/315611.


Epidemiologic studies suggest a link between infection/inflammation and atherosclerosis. During the acute-phase response to infection and inflammation, cytokines induce tissue and plasma events that lead to changes in lipoprotein. Many of these changes are similar to those proposed to promote atherogenesis. The changes of lipoproteins during infection and inflammation are reviewed with a focus on those that are potentially proatherogenic. Hypertriglyceridemia, elevated triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, the appearance of small dense low-density lipoproteins, increased platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase activity, and secretory phospholipase A(2), sphingolipid-enriched lipoproteins, and decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are changes that could promote atherogenesis. Moreover, alterations of proteins associated with HDL metabolism (e.g., paraoxonase, apolipoprotein A-I, lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase, cholesterol ester transfer protein, hepatic lipase, phospholipid transfer protein, and serum amyloid A) could decrease the ability of HDL to protect against atherogenesis through antioxidation and reverse cholesterol transport mechanisms. These proatherogenic changes of lipoproteins may contribute to the link between infection/inflammation and atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Infections / complications*
  • Infections / metabolism
  • Inflammation / complications*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism*


  • Lipoproteins