Apolipoprotein B, the villain in the drama?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the major atherogenic lipoprotein and the primary target of lipid-lowering therapy for treating ischemic cardiovascular disease. Apolipoprotein B (apoB), an important structural component of LDL, plays a key role in cholesterol transport and removal in vascular wall. On the other hand, under pathological process, apoB interacts with the arterial wall to initiate the cascade of events that leads to atherosclerosis. However, interactions between apoB and vascular wall remain to be determined. Here, we address a pathological role of apoB per se and whole LDL particle in dysfunction of vascular endothelium and smooth muscle cells i.e. decreased endothelium-dependent vasodilation and increased receptor-mediated vasoconstriction. We intend to discuss: i) how apoB is responsible for the deleterious effects of LDL in the development of ischemic cardiovascular disease; ii) why vaccine based on peptides derived from apoB-100 is a promising therapy for treating ischemic cardiovascular disease, and iii) direct inhibition of apoB production should be a better therapeutic option than simple LDL-cholesterol lowering therapy in the patients with severe hypercholesterolemia at high cardiovascular risk with statin intolerance. In conclusion, apoB, but not cholesterol, plays a major role in LDL-induced dysfunction of endothelium, suggesting that direct apoB-targeting agents might be a promising therapy for the treatment of ischemic cardiovascular disease.


  • Qi Yu
  • Yaping Zhang
  • Cang-Bao Xu
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-169
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue numberSep 16
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch