The physiopathology of lipoprotein (a)

Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2010 Jun 1;2:866-75. doi: 10.2741/s107.


Lipoprotein(a) (also called Lp(a)) is a lipoprotein subclass. Different studies have identified Lp(a) as a putative risk factor for atherosclerotic diseases such as coronary artery disease and stroke. The physiological role of Lp(a) in humans is still unclear, but it seems that individuals with low concentrations of plasma Lp(a) manifest no deficiency syndrome or disease. Because of the high homology between plasminogen and apo(a) it is conceivable that Lp(a) plays a role in the coagulation system, especially in to thrombosis and impaired fibrinolysis processes. It can also contribute to coronary disease and can accumulate in the arterial walls and cerebral vessels. Lp(a) seems to play an active role in acute inflammation promoting the enhancement of intercellular adhesion molecules; that way it can contribute to develop atherosclerosis. Finally, we underline the relationship among Lp(a) levels and others inflammations molecules such as fibrinogen, fibronectin and TGF- beta.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Atherosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology
  • Fibrinogen / physiology
  • Fibrinolysis / physiology
  • Fibronectins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lipoprotein(a) / blood
  • Lipoprotein(a) / chemistry
  • Lipoprotein(a) / genetics
  • Lipoprotein(a) / physiology*
  • Plasminogen / physiology
  • Protein Isoforms / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Fibronectins
  • Lipoprotein(a)
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Fibrinogen
  • Plasminogen