[Frontiers in Bioscience S2, 866-875, June 1, 2010]

The physiopathology of lipoprotein (a)

Fabio Galvano1, Michele Malaguarnera1, Marco Vacante2, Massimo Motta2, Cristina Russo2, Giulia Malaguarnera3 Nicolantonio D'Orazio4, Lucia Malaguarnera 3

1Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Catania, 2Department of Senescence, Urological and Neurological Sciences, University of Catania, Italy, 4Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Catania, Italy, 4Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Chieti, Italy


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Structure, isoforms, serum levels and genetic of Lp(a)
4. Metabolism of Lp(a)
5. Lp(a) in population
6. Physiology of Lp(a)
6.1. Lp(a), plasminogen and fibrinolysis
6.2. Lp(a) and fibrinogen
6.3. Lp(a) and fibronectin
6.4. Lp(a) and TGF-β
6.5. Lp(a) and adhesion molecules
7. Summary and perspective
8. References


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- β.