Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, despite all the progress achieved as regards to both prevention and treatment. Having high levels of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease that operates independently. It can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease even when LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) levels are within the recommended range, which is referred to as residual cardiovascular risk. Lp(a) is an LDL-like particle present in human plasma, in which a large plasminogen-like glycoprotein, apolipoprotein(a) [Apo(a)], is covalently bound to Apo B100 via one disulfide bridge. Apo(a) contains one plasminogen-like kringle V structure, a variable number of plasminogen-like kringle IV structures (types 1–10), and one inactive protease region. There is a large inter-individual variation of plasma concentrations of Lp(a), mainly ascribable to genetic variants in the Lp(a) gene: in the general po-pulation, Lp(a) levels can range from <1 mg/dL to >1000 mg/dL. Concentrations also vary between different ethnicities. Lp(a) has been established as one of the risk factors that play an important role in the development of atherosclerotic plaque. Indeed, high concentrations of Lp(a) have been related to a greater risk of ischemic CVD, aortic valve stenosis, and heart failure. The threshold value has been set at 50 mg/dL, but the risk may increase already at levels above 30 mg/dL. Although there is a well-established and strong link between high Lp(a) levels and coronary as well as cerebrovascular disease, the evidence regarding incident peripheral arterial disease and carotid atherosclerosis is not as conclusive. Because lifestyle changes and standard lipid-lowering treatments, such as statins, niacin, and cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors, are not highly effective in reducing Lp(a) levels, there is increased interest in developing new drugs that can address this issue. PCSK9 inhibitors seem to be capable of reducing Lp(a) levels by 25–30%. Mipomersen decreases Lp(a) levels by 25–40%, but its use is burdened with important side effects. At the current time, the most effective and tolerated treatment for patients with a high Lp(a) plasma level is apheresis, while antisense oligonucleotides, small interfering RNAs, and microRNAs, which reduce Lp(a) levels by targeting RNA molecules and regulating gene expression as well as protein production levels, are the most widely explored and promising perspectives. The aim of this review is to provide an update on the current state of the art with regard to Lp(a) pathophysiological mechanisms, focusing on the most effective strategies for lowering Lp(a), including new emerging alternative therapies. The purpose of this manuscript is to improve the management of hyperlipoproteinemia(a) in order to achieve better control of the residual cardiovascular risk, which remains unacceptably high.

Lipoprotein(a) as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Diseases: Pathophysiology and Treatment Perspectives

Pierandrea Vinci
;
Filippo Giorgio Di Girolamo;Emiliano Panizon;Letizia Maria Tosoni;Carla Cerrato;Federica Pellicori;Alessia Pirulli;Michele Zaccari;Nicola Fiotti;Paolo Schincariol;Alessandro Mangogna;Gianni Biolo
2023-01-01

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, despite all the progress achieved as regards to both prevention and treatment. Having high levels of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease that operates independently. It can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease even when LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) levels are within the recommended range, which is referred to as residual cardiovascular risk. Lp(a) is an LDL-like particle present in human plasma, in which a large plasminogen-like glycoprotein, apolipoprotein(a) [Apo(a)], is covalently bound to Apo B100 via one disulfide bridge. Apo(a) contains one plasminogen-like kringle V structure, a variable number of plasminogen-like kringle IV structures (types 1–10), and one inactive protease region. There is a large inter-individual variation of plasma concentrations of Lp(a), mainly ascribable to genetic variants in the Lp(a) gene: in the general po-pulation, Lp(a) levels can range from <1 mg/dL to >1000 mg/dL. Concentrations also vary between different ethnicities. Lp(a) has been established as one of the risk factors that play an important role in the development of atherosclerotic plaque. Indeed, high concentrations of Lp(a) have been related to a greater risk of ischemic CVD, aortic valve stenosis, and heart failure. The threshold value has been set at 50 mg/dL, but the risk may increase already at levels above 30 mg/dL. Although there is a well-established and strong link between high Lp(a) levels and coronary as well as cerebrovascular disease, the evidence regarding incident peripheral arterial disease and carotid atherosclerosis is not as conclusive. Because lifestyle changes and standard lipid-lowering treatments, such as statins, niacin, and cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors, are not highly effective in reducing Lp(a) levels, there is increased interest in developing new drugs that can address this issue. PCSK9 inhibitors seem to be capable of reducing Lp(a) levels by 25–30%. Mipomersen decreases Lp(a) levels by 25–40%, but its use is burdened with important side effects. At the current time, the most effective and tolerated treatment for patients with a high Lp(a) plasma level is apheresis, while antisense oligonucleotides, small interfering RNAs, and microRNAs, which reduce Lp(a) levels by targeting RNA molecules and regulating gene expression as well as protein production levels, are the most widely explored and promising perspectives. The aim of this review is to provide an update on the current state of the art with regard to Lp(a) pathophysiological mechanisms, focusing on the most effective strategies for lowering Lp(a), including new emerging alternative therapies. The purpose of this manuscript is to improve the management of hyperlipoproteinemia(a) in order to achieve better control of the residual cardiovascular risk, which remains unacceptably high.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
ijerph-20-06721.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 1.19 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.19 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3059819
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 2
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact