Plasma lipoproteins are important components of the immune system

Microbiol Immunol. 2010 Apr;54(4):246-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.2010.00203.x.


Plasma lipoproteins (VLDL, LDL, Lp[a] and HDL) function primarily in lipid transport among tissues and organs. However, cumulative evidence suggests that lipoproteins may also prevent bacterial, viral and parasitic infections and are therefore a component of innate immunity. Lipoproteins can also detoxify lipopolysaccharide and lipoteichoic acid. Infections can induce oxidation of LDL, and oxLDL in turn plays important anti-infective roles and protects against endotoxin-induced tissue damage. There is also evidence that apo(a) is protective against pathogens. Taken together, the evidence suggests that it might be valuable to introduce the concept that plasma lipoproteins belong in the realm of host immune response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / immunology
  • Parasitic Diseases / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / immunology


  • Lipoproteins