Recombinant LCAT (Lecithin:Cholesterol Acyltransferase) Rescues Defective HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein)-Mediated Endothelial Protection in Acute Coronary Syndrome

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2019 May;39(5):915-924. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.118.311987.


Objective- Aim of this study was to evaluate changes in LCAT (lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase) concentration and activity in patients with an acute coronary syndrome, to investigate if these changes are related to the compromised capacity of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) to promote endothelial nitric oxide (NO) production, and to assess if rhLCAT (recombinant human LCAT) can rescue the defective vasoprotective HDL function. Approach and Results- Thirty ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients were enrolled, and plasma was collected at hospital admission, 48 and 72 hours thereafter, at hospital discharge, and at 30-day follow-up. Plasma LCAT concentration and activity were measured and related to the capacity of HDL to promote NO production in cultured endothelial cells. In vitro studies were performed in which STEMI patients' plasma was added with rhLCAT and HDL vasoprotective activity assessed by measuring NO production in endothelial cells. The plasma concentration of the LCAT enzyme significantly decreases during STEMI with a parallel significant reduction in LCAT activity. HDL isolated from STEMI patients progressively lose the capacity to promote NO production by endothelial cells, and the reduction is related to decreased LCAT concentration. In vitro incubation of STEMI patients' plasma with rhLCAT restores HDL ability to promote endothelial NO production, possibly related to significant modification in HDL phospholipid classes. Conclusions- Impairment of cholesterol esterification may be a major factor in the HDL dysfunction observed during acute coronary syndrome. rhLCAT is able to restore HDL-mediated NO production in vitro, suggesting LCAT as potential therapeutic target for restoring HDL functionality in acute coronary syndrome.

Keywords: acute coronary syndrome; cholesterol acyltransferase; endothelial cell; lipoproteins; nitric oxide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / blood*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood*
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylcholine-Sterol O-Acyltransferase / blood*
  • Prognosis
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction / blood*
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction / enzymology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sterol O-Acyltransferase / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Sterol O-Acyltransferase
  • Phosphatidylcholine-Sterol O-Acyltransferase