Purpose of review: Previous epidemiological studies and studies in experimental animals have provided strong evidence for the atheroprotective effect of HDL and its major apoprotein, apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I). Identification of genetic loci associating apoA-I/HDL with cardiovascular disease is needed to establish a causal relationship.
Recent findings: Pharmacological interventions to increase apoA-I or HDL cholesterol levels in humans are not associated with reduction in atherosclerosis. Genome wide association study (GWAS) studies in humans and hybrid mouse diversity panel (HMDP) studies looking for genetic variants associated with apoA-I or HDL cholesterol levels with cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis have not provided strong evidence for their atheroprotective function.
Summary: These findings indicate that GWAS and HMDP studies identifying possible genetic determinants of HDL and apoA-I function are needed.