What Are Triglycerides Anyway?

Inhibiting molecules microRNA33a and microRNA33b and increasing good HDL cholesterol

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Hoping someday for an easier way to lower your triglycerides while boosting your "good" HDL cholesterol? For the first time, lab scientists have identified a therapeutic target that may do just that.

New York University Langone Medical Center researchers have found a way to show how inhibiting the molecules microRNA-33a and microRNA-33b, which regulate genes involved in cholesterol, can suppress triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol.

"Ask your pharmacist how to reduce your cholesterol."

Kathryn Moore, lead author and an associate professor in the department of medicine, The Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology and The Marc and Ruti Bell Vascular Biology and Disease Program at NYU Langone Medical Center, said the discovery of microRNAs within the last decade has opened new avenues of developing targeted therapies aimed at these potent gene pathway regulators.

The two regulators result in decreased generation of HDL cholesterol and the accumulation of triglycerides. Researchers used a primate model and over a 12 week period learned to inhibit the pair of regulators, which reversed the mounting triglycerides and lower production of good cholesterol, creating a novel therapeutic approach.

In addition to showing that inhibiting microRNA-33a and microRNA-33b lowered triglycerides and increased the circulating amount of HDL cholesterol, downstream pathways could lead to treatment of conditions including dyslipidemia, or an abnormal amount of lipids, and metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a common combination of risk factors such as cholesterol, obesity and insulin resistance that can later lead to heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers said the findings bring the research a step closer to clinical trials. The findings were published in the Oct. 20 issue of journal Nature.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 25, 2011
Last Updated:
October 30, 2011