Lp(a) lipoprotein: relationship to sinking pre-beta lipoprotein hyperlipoproteinemia, and apolipoprotein B

Metabolism. 1975 Sep;24(9):1047-54. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(75)90098-0.


To assess the relationship between the Lp(a) and the "sinking pre-beta" (d smaller than 1.006) lipoprotein, the concentration of Lp(a) was quantified by radial immunodiffusion and the presence or absence of sinking pre-beta was assessed by agarose electrophoresis in overnight fasting plasma samples from 485 adults, comprised of 320 with normal lipid levels, 48 with type IIa, 40 with type IIb, and 77 with type IV lipoprotein phenotypes. The median Lp(a) level was 7.6 mg/100 ml, 89% (433 of 485) having detectable Lp(a) levels. Twenty-two per cent (107 of 485) had detectable pre-beta lipoprotein in the d greater than 1.006 plasma fraction (sinking pre-beta). Of the sinking pre-beta positive plasma samples, 96% (102 and 107) exceeded the median Lp(a) level, and sinking pre-beta was detected in all 44 samples with an Lp(a) concentration exceeding 40 mg/100 ml. The relationship of Lp(a) and sinking pre-beta to lipoprotein phenotype was assessed. Compared to the normolipidemic group, the type IIa group had higher Lp(a) percentile values (p smaller than 0.02), whereas the IIb and type IV groups had significantly lower Lp(a) values than the normolipidemic group. Ninety-two per cent (296 of 320) of the normolipidemic subjects had detectable levels of Lp(a) and 22% (70 of 320) had detectable sinking pre-beta lipoprotein. Ninety-four per cent (45 of 48) of the type IIa plasmas had detectable Lp(a) levels and 27% (13 of 48) had sinking pre-beta lipoproteins. Contrasted with the IIa group, only 80% (32 of 40) of the IIb plasmas had detectable Lp(a) levels and 18% (7 of 40) had sinking pre-beta lipoprotein. In the type IV plasmas 78% (60 of 77) had detectable Lp(a) and 22% (17 of 77) had sinking pre-beta lipoprotein. Lp(a) or log Lp(a) levels were not correlated with apolipoprotein B levels (n = 485, r = 0.002 or 0.037, respectively). Furthermore, Lp(a) levels remained essentially constant in three subjects whose aprptein B levels were altered in response to pharmacological and/or dietary manipulation. A fourth subject had a 50% increase in Lp(a) but this change did not correlate with apoprotein B changes. Thus, these findings suggest that Lp(a) is metabolically independnet of low density lipoprotein even though it shares the same structural protein, apoprotein B.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Apoproteins / blood*
  • Clofibrate / therapeutic use
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Ethinyl Estradiol / therapeutic use
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy
  • Immunodiffusion
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype


  • Apoproteins
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Lipoproteins
  • Lipoproteins, VLDL
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Clofibrate