Causes of dysregulation of lipid metabolism in chronic renal failure

Semin Dial. Nov-Dec 2009;22(6):644-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-139X.2009.00661.x.


End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is associated with accelerated atherosclerosis and premature death from cardiovascular disease. These events are driven by oxidative stress inflammation and lipid disorders. ESRD-induced lipid abnormalities primarily stem from dysregulation of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglyceride-rich lipoprotein metabolism, and oxidative modification of lipoproteins. In this context, production and plasma concentration of Apo-I and Apo-II are reduced, HDL maturation is impaired, HDL composition is altered, HDL antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions are depressed, clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and their atherogenic remnants is impaired, their composition is altered, and their plasma concentration is elevated in ESRD. The associated defect in HDL maturation is largely caused by acquired lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency while its triglyceride enrichment is due to hepatic lipase deficiency. Hypertriglyceridemia, abnormal composition, and impaired clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and their remnants are mediated by down-regulation of lipoprotein lipase, hepatic lipase, very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) receptor, and LDL receptor-related protein, relative reduction in ApoC-II/ApoC-III ratio, up-regulation of acyl-CoA cholesterol acyltransferase, and elevated plasma level of cholesterol ester-poor prebeta HDL. Impaired clearance and accumulation of oxidation-prone VLDL and chylomicron remnants and abnormal LDL composition in the face of oxidative stress and inflammation favors their uptake by macrophages and resident cells in the artery wall. The effect of heightened influx of lipids is compounded by impaired HDL-mediated reverse cholesterol transport leading to foam cell formation which is the central event in atherosclerosis plaque formation and subsequent plaque rupture, thrombosis, and tissue damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Disease Progression
  • Dyslipidemias / etiology*
  • Dyslipidemias / physiopathology
  • Dyslipidemias / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / metabolism*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Uremia / complications
  • Uremia / metabolism
  • Uremia / physiopathology


  • Lipoproteins