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Antioxidant and inflammatory aspects of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2 ): a review

Isis T Silva, Ana PQ Mello and Nágila RT Damasceno*

Author Affiliations

Departamento de Nutrição, Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2011, 10:170  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-10-170

Published: 28 September 2011


The association of cardiovascular events with Lp-PLA2 has been studied continuously today. The enzyme has been strongly associated with several cardiovascular risk markers and events. Its discovery was directly related to the hydrolysis of the platelet-activating factor and oxidized phospholipids, which are considered protective functions. However, the hydrolysis of bioactive lipids generates lysophospholipids, compounds that have a pro-inflammatory function. Therefore, the evaluation of the distribution of Lp-PLA2 in the lipid fractions emphasized the dual role of the enzyme in the inflammatory process, since the HDL-Lp-PLA2 enzyme contributes to the reduction of atherosclerosis, while LDL-Lp-PLA2 stimulates this process. Recently, it has been verified that diet components and drugs can influence the enzyme activity and concentration. Thus, the effects of these treatments on Lp-PLA2 may represent a new kind of prevention of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the association of the enzyme with the traditional assessment of cardiovascular risk may help to predict more accurately these diseases.

Lp-PLA2 ; Cardiovascular risk; antioxidant; pro-inflammatory