Research in mice suggests that the liver may produce most of the bodys "good" cholesterol, an unexpected finding that might one day help scientists develop new treatments to raise levels of this heart-protecting molecule in humans.
In the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues will report on a project that used gene-targeting in mice to simulate a rare disease in people – Tangier disease. People with this genetic disease produce virtually no "good" cholesterol.
"In studies of mice, we provided the first definitive proof that the liver is the source of about 80 percent of the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol, that circulates in the blood," said John S. Parks, Ph.D., senior researcher, from the school of medicine, which is part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Understanding more about how HDL is produced could lead to new treatments to raise its levels."
Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
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