HDL functions and their interaction in patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction: a case control study

BACKGROUND:

Recent studies emphasize the importance of HDL function over HDL cholesterol measurement, as an important risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). We compared the HDL function of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and healthy controls.

METHODS:

We measured cholesterol efflux capacity of HDL using THP-1 macrophages labelled with fluorescently tagged (BODIPY) cholesterol. PON1 activities toward paraoxon and phenyl acetate were assessed by spectrophotometric methods.

RESULTS:

We recruited 150 ACS patients and 110 controls. The HDL function of all patients during acute phase and at six month follow-up was measured. The mean age of the patients and controls was 51.7 and 43.6 years respectively. The mean HDL cholesterol/apolipoprotein A-I levels (ratio) of patients during acute phase, follow-up and of controls were 40.2 mg/dl/ 112.5 mg/dl (ratio = 0.36), 38.3 mg/dl/ 127.2 mg/dl (ratio = 0.30) and 45.4 mg/dl/ 142.1 mg/dl (ratio = 0.32) respectively. The cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC) of HDL was positively correlated with apolipoprotein A-I levels during acute phase (r = 0.19, p = 0.019), follow-up (r = 0.26, p = 0.007) and of controls (r = 0.3, p = 0.0012) but not with HDL-C levels (acute phase: r = 0.07, p = 0.47; follow-up: r = 0.1, p = 0.2; control: r = 0.02, p = 0.82). Higher levels of cholesterol efflux capacity, PON1 activity and apolipoprotein A-I were associated with lower odds of development of ACS. We also observed that low CEC is associated with higher odds of having ACS if PON1 activity of HDL is also low and vice versa.

CONCLUSION:

ACS is associated with reduced HDL functions which improves at follow-up. The predicted probability of ACS depends upon individual HDL functions and the interactions between them.