Inflammatory Links Between Hypertriglyceridemia and Atherogenesis

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2022 May;24(5):297-306. doi: 10.1007/s11883-022-01006-w. Epub 2022 Mar 11.


Purpose of review: Recent studies indicate an association between hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The purpose of this review is to discuss the potential mechanism connecting HTG and ASCVD risk and the potential efficacy of HTG-targeting therapies in ASCVD prevention.

Recent findings: HTG, with elevations in triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TGRL) and their remnants, are causal ASCVD risk factors. The mechanisms whereby HTG increases ASCVD risk are not well understood but may include multiple factors. Inflammation plays a crucial role in atherosclerosis. TGRL compared to low-density lipoproteins (LDL) correlate better with inflammation. TGRL remnants can penetrate endothelium and interact with macrophages leading to foam cell formation and inflammation in arterial walls, thereby contributing to atherogenesis. In addition, circulating monocytes can take up TGRL and become lipid-laden foamy monocytes, which infiltrate the arterial wall and may also contribute to atherogenesis. Novel therapies targeting HTG or inflammation are in development and have potential of reducing residual ASCVD risk associated with HTG. Clinical and preclinical studies show a causal role of HTG in promoting ASCVD, in which inflammation plays a vital role. Novel therapies targeting HTG or inflammation have potential of reducing residual ASCVD risk.

Keywords: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD); Hypertriglyceridemia (HTG); Inflammation; Remnant lipoprotein particles (RLP); Triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TGRL).

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias*
  • Hypertriglyceridemia* / complications
  • Hypertriglyceridemia* / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides


  • Triglycerides