Among the determinants of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), genetic and experimental evidence has provided data on a major role of angiopoietin-like proteins 3 and 4 (ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4) in regulating the activity of lipoprotein lipase (LPL), antagonizing the hydrolysis of triglycerides (TG). Indeed, beyond low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), ASCVD risk is also dependent on a cluster of metabolic abnormalities characterized by elevated fasting and post-prandial levels of TG-rich lipoproteins and their remnants. In a head-to-head comparison between murine models for ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4, the former was found to be a better pharmacological target for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. In humans, loss-of-function mutations of ANGPTL3 are associated with a marked reduction of plasma levels of VLDL, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Carriers of loss-of-function mutations of ANGPTL4 show instead lower TG-rich lipoproteins and a modest but significant increase of HDL. The relevance of ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 as new therapeutic targets is proven by the development of monoclonal antibodies or antisense oligonucleotides. Studies in animal models, including non-human primates, have demonstrated that short-term treatment with monoclonal antibodies against ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 induces activation of LPL and a marked reduction of plasma TG-rich-lipoproteins, apparently without any major side effects. Inhibition of both targets also partially reduces LDL-C, independent of the LDL receptor. Similar evidence has been observed with the antisense oligonucleotide ANGPTL3-LRX. The genetic studies have paved the way for the development of new ANGPTL3 and 4 antagonists for the treatment of atherogenic dyslipidemias. Conclusive data of phase 2 and 3 clinical trials are still needed in order to define their safety and efficacy profile.
Pharmacological aspects of ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 inhibitors: New therapeutic approaches for the treatment of atherogenic dyslipidemia / Ruscica, M; Zimetti, F; Adorni, MP; Sirtori, CR; Lupo, MG; Ferri, N.. - In: PHARMACOLOGICAL RESEARCH. - ISSN 1043-6618. - (2020). [10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104653]
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