Apolipoprotein E polymorphism affects plasma levels of lipoprotein(a)

Atherosclerosis. 1991 Oct;90(2-3):169-74. doi: 10.1016/0021-9150(91)90111-f.


In a group of 303 healthy Caucasian adults of both sexes we studied the influence of the apolipoprotein E (apo E) polymorphism on plasma levels of Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a). The APOE*2 allele was found to decrease the mean plasma Lp(a) level by 24.8%, whereas the APOE*4 allele increased the mean Lp(a) level by 25.7%. These effects were parallel to the effect of apo E polymorphism on plasma cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol. For the Lp(a) levels, the genetic variance associated with the APOE locus contributed about 4% to the total phenotypic variance. For plasma cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol this contribution was 4.5 and 6.3%, respectively. We also found a significant positive correlation between LDL-cholesterol and Lp(a) levels. Since the apo E polymorphism effects LDL-receptor activity, we conclude that, at least in healthy normolipidemic individuals, plasma levels of Lp(a) are modulated by the LDL-receptor activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipoprotein(a)
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipoprotein(a)
  • Lipoproteins
  • Cholesterol