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Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Oct 20;10:185. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-10-185.

Myeloperoxidase modulation by LDL apheresis in familial hypercholesterolemia.

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  • 1CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology, via Moruzzi n° 1, Pisa, Italy.



Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a marker of plaque vulnerability and a mechanistic bridge between inflammation and cardiovascular disease, and thus is a suitable target for therapeutic strategy against cardiovascular disease.


Since hypercholesterolemia is associated with atherosclerosis and inflammation, we tested whether MPO serum levels were up-regulated in Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) and whether acute reduction of total cholesterol (TC) would also reduce MPO concentration. FH subjects undergoing LDL-apheresis (LDL-A) treatment are a paradigmatic clinical model where TC rapidly plunges from extremely high to extremely low levels after selective LDL removal, and then spontaneously rebounds to baseline conditions. This clinical setting allows multiple intra-patient observations at different plasma TC concentrations. We measured MPO levels in serum by ELISA tests, and in peripheral leukocytes by immunofluorescence, to learn whether they were affected by the changes in TC levels. Serum MPO was measured before and serially up to the 14th day following LDL-A.


In both serum and peripheral leukocytes, MPO concentrations were i) higher than in sex- and age-matched healthy controls (p < 0.01); ii) decreased with TC reduction; iii) parallel with TC time course; iv) correlated with plasma TC. At regression analysis, plasma TC was the only variable considered that influenced MPO serum levels (β 0.022 ± 0.010, p < 0.0001).


In FH the MPO serum levels were modulated through changes in the TC concentrations carried out by LDL-A. Further study is needed to determine whether reduced MPO levels obtained by LDL-A could have any therapeutic impact.

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