Lipoproteins and lipids in cardiovascular disease: from mechanistic insights to therapeutic targeting

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2020:159:4-33. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2020.07.019. Epub 2020 Jul 27.


With cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, effective and cost-efficient therapies to reduce cardiovascular risk are highly needed. Lipids and lipoprotein particles crucially contribute to atherosclerosis as underlying pathology of cardiovascular disease and influence inflammatory processes as well as function of leukocytes, vascular and cardiac cells, thereby impacting on vessels and heart. Statins form the first-line therapy with the aim to block cholesterol synthesis, but additional lipid-lowering drugs are sometimes needed to achieve low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol target values. Furthermore, beyond LDL cholesterol, also other lipid mediators contribute to cardiovascular risk. This review comprehensively discusses low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, lipoprotein (a), triglycerides as well as fatty acids and derivatives in the context of cardiovascular disease, providing mechanistic insights into their role in pathological processes impacting on cardiovascular disease. Also, an overview of applied as well as emerging therapeutic strategies to reduce lipid-induced cardiovascular burden is provided.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; HDL; LDL; atherosclerosis; fatty acid; lipid; lipid-lowering therapy; lipoprotein(a); myocardial infarction; triglyceride.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Lipids


  • Lipids