IDL Cholesterol is a plasma lipoprotein.
Plasma lipoproteins can be divided into seven classes based on size, lipid composition, and apolipoproteins:
– chylomicron remnants
– Lp (a).
Cholesterol and triglycerides are insoluble in water and therefore these lipids must be transported in association with proteins. Lipoproteins are complex particles with a central core containing cholesterol esters and triglycerides surrounded by free cholesterol, phospholipids, and apolipoproteins, which facilitate lipoprotein formation and function.
Chylomicron remnants, VLDL, IDL, LDL, and Lp (a) are all pro-atherogenic while HDL is anti-atherogenic.
As with other lipoproteins, IDL particles are primarily composed of triacylglycerols and cholesterol esters and are responsible for carrying fatty acids before their eventual release at the target membrane. IDLs are either cleared from the plasma by the liver through receptor-mediated endocytosis (RME) or are further degraded to LDLs. About half of the IDLs are removed by REM in liver cells. When the IDL cholesterol content exceeds that of triacylglycerol, the particle is designated an LDL.
Studies have reported that a high IDL cholesterol level was associated with a high frequency of Coronary artery disease (CAD). Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death in the United States in both men and women. CAD happens when the arteries that supply blood to heart muscle become hardened and narrowed. [L]
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