Lipoprotein glycation and its metabolic consequences

T J Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


In people with diabetes, glycation of apolipoproteins correlates with other indices of recent glycemic control, including HbA1. For several reasons, increased glycation of apolipoproteins may play a role in the accelerated development of atherosclerosis in diabetic patients. Recognition of glycated LDL by the classical LDL receptor is impaired, whereas its uptake by human monocyte-macrophages is enhanced. These alterations may contribute to hyperlipidemia and accelerated foam-cell formation, respectively. Glycation of LDL also enhances its capacity to stimulate platelet aggregation. The uptake of VLDL from diabetic patients by human monocyte-macrophages is enhanced. This enhancement may be due, at least in part, to increased glycation of its lipoproteins. Glycation of HDL impairs its recognition by cells and reduces its effectiveness in reverse cholesterol transport. Glycation of apolipoproteins may also generate free radicals, increasing oxidative damage to the apolipoproteins themselves, the lipids in the particle core, and any neighboring macromolecules. This effect may be most significant in extravasated lipoproteins. In these, increased glycation promotes covalent binding to vascular structural proteins, and oxidative reactions may cause direct damage to the vessel wall. Glycoxidation, or browning, of sequestered lipoproteins may further enhance their atherogenicity. Finally, glycated or glycoxidized lipoproteins may be immunogenic, and lipoprotein-immune complexes are potent stimulators of foam-cell formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
Volume41 Suppl 2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1992


  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins
  • Lipoproteins, LDL


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