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.