Purpose of review: Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is an atherogenic lipoprotein. The metabolism of this lipoprotein is still not well understood.
Recent findings: It has long been known that the plasma concentration of Lp(a) is highly heritable, with its genetic determinants located in the apo(a) locus and regulating the rate of hepatic apo(a) production. Recent human intervention trials have convincingly established that, in addition to apo(a) production, hepatic apoB100 production plays an important role in Lp(a) levels. Although the major site and mode of Lp(a) clearance remain unidentified, a recent cell and animal study points to the involvement of the hepatic scavenger receptor class B type I in the uptake of both the lipid and protein constituents of Lp(a) from plasma.
Summary: Progress in the understanding of Lp(a) metabolism has the potential to lead to the development of novel and specific treatments for the reduction of Lp(a) levels and the associated risk of cardiovascular disease.
aCardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University
bGerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
cNorthwest Lipid Metabolism and Diabetes Research Laboratories, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
Correspondence to Stefania Lamon-Fava, MD, PhD, Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, 711 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: +1 617 556 3105; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org