Lipoprotein associated phospholipase A2 activity, apolipoprotein C3 loss-of-function variants and cardiovascular disease: The Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities Study

Atherosclerosis. 2015 Aug;241(2):641-8. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2015.06.033. Epub 2015 Jun 18.


Objective: Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (LpPLA2) activity was associated with higher CHD risk in a meta-analysis, which was partly dependent on circulating lipid levels. Apolipoprotein C3 loss-of-function (ApoC3 LOF) mutations were related with reduced postprandial lipemia and CHD risk. However, the association of LpPLA2 activity with ApoC3 LOF is not known.

Methods: We examined the association of LpPLA2 activity and ApoC3 LOF mutations and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) (defined as coronary heart disease [CHD] plus ischemic stroke) and all-cause mortality in the biracial longitudinal Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) study.

Results: The mean LpPLA2 activity was 229.3 nmol/min/mL and was higher in men and whites. LpPLA2 activity correlated positively with atherogenic dyslipidemia. ApoC3 LOF carriers had lower LpPLA2 activity levels compared to non-carriers, and there was inverse association between LpPLA2 activity and ApoC3 LOF mutations in whites. In a fully adjusted model, greater LpPLA2 activity was independently associated with incident CVD (HR 1.35, 1.09-1.68 for highest vs. lowest quintile), which was mainly explained by its association with CHD, and was also associated with all-cause mortality (HR 1.65, 1.38-1.98).

Conclusions: Greater LpPLA2 activity was associated with increased CHD and all-cause mortality in both whites and African-Americans in the ARIC study. The inverse relation between LpPLA2 activity and ApoC3 LOF mutations suggests that delayed lipoprotein clearance may at least in part explain the observed association of LpPLA2 activity with increased CVD risk.

Keywords: Apolipoprotein C3 loss-of-function; Atherogenic dyslipidemia; Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities Study; Cardiovascular disease; Coronary heart disease; Ischemic stroke; Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A(2) activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase / genetics
  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase / metabolism*
  • Aged
  • Alleles
  • Apolipoprotein C-III / genetics
  • Apolipoprotein C-III / metabolism*
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Dyslipidemias / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Postprandial Period
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / genetics
  • Stroke / metabolism
  • United States


  • Apolipoprotein C-III
  • Lipoprotein Lipase
  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase