The metabolic pathways of high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides: a current review

Am J Cardiol. 2000 Dec 21;86(12A):5L-10L. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(00)01461-2.


Three major interconnected pathways are involved in lipoprotein metabolism: (1) the transport of dietary or exogenous fat; (2) the transport of hepatic or endogenous fat; and (3) reverse cholesterol transport. These pathways are interdependent and disruptions in one will affect the function and products of the others. For example, a mutation such as one in the ABC1 protein can disrupt normal transport and processing of cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) appears to have cardioprotective properties because of its involvement in certain processes such as reverse cholesterol transport and inhibition of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) oxidation. Certain agents, such as niacin, which increases HDL-C, lowers lipoprotein (a), and targets specific enzymes or receptors, may be highly beneficial for patients at risk of cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / metabolism*
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Triglycerides / metabolism*


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol