The role of HDL and HDL mimetic peptides as potential therapeutics for alzheimer’s disease

Dustin Chernick, Rui Zhong, Ling Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The role of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) in the cardiovascular system has been extensively studied and the cardioprotective effects of HDL are well established. As HDL particles are formed both in the systemic circulation and in the central nervous system, the role of HDL and its associated apolipoproteins in the brain has attracted much research interest in recent years. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder and the leading cause of dementia worldwide, for which there currently exists no approved disease modifying treatment. Multiple lines of evidence, including a number of large-scale human clinical studies, have shown a robust connection between HDL levels and AD. Low levels of HDL are associated with increased risk and severity of AD, whereas high levels of HDL are correlated with superior cognitive function. Although the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of HDL in the brain are not fully understood, many of the functions of HDL, including reverse lipid/cholesterol transport, anti-inflammation/immune modulation, anti-oxidation, microvessel endothelial protection, and proteopathy modification, are thought to be critical for its beneficial effects. This review describes the current evidence for the role of HDL in AD and the potential of using small peptides mimicking HDL or its associated apolipoproteins (HDL-mimetic peptides) as therapeutics to treat AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1276
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported in part by the NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, grant number AG056025, AG056976, and AG058081.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Apolipoproteins
  • High-density lipoproteins
  • Mimetic peptides

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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