Cholesterol efflux is a direct reflection of reverse cholesterol transport, a key atheroprotective pathway, and impaired efflux is associated with increased ASCVD risk. We established in the Dallas Heart Study that baseline differences in the anti-atherogenic process of cholesterol efflux are relevant to incident ASCVD risk in humans. Intriguingly, correlation with HDL composition was weak, suggesting that cholesterol efflux represents a novel lipid trait distinct from HDL.
The mechanisms underlying variation in cholesterol efflux remain unknown. We focus on identifying the genetic and molecular factors that underlie variation in cholesterol efflux in two large, multi-ethnic population-based cohorts: DHS and MESA (supported by NHLBI R01). We use FPLC-profiling and other methods to further phenotype the efflux trait and focus on drivers of efflux in humans.
We are interested in collaboration with other investigators and can serve as a core lab in measuring cholesterol efflux from human serum/plasma.