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Eur J Intern Med. 2012 Oct;23(7):633-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2012.05.008. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

Simvastatin but not bezafibrate decreases plasma lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A₂ mass in type 2 diabetes mellitus: relevance of high sensitive C-reactive protein, lipoprotein profile and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) electronegativity.

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Department of Endocrinology, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.



Plasma lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A(2) (Lp-PLA(2)) levels predict incident cardiovascular disease, impacting Lp-PLA(2) as an emerging therapeutic target. We determined Lp-PLA(2) responses to statin and fibrate administration in type 2 diabetes mellitus, and assessed relationships of changes in Lp-PLA(2) with subclinical inflammation and lipoprotein characteristics.


A placebo-controlled cross-over study (three 8-week treatment periods with simvastatin (40 mg daily), bezafibrate (400mg daily) and their combination) was carried out in 14 male type 2 diabetic patients. Plasma Lp-PLA(2) mass was measured by turbidimetric immunoassay.


Plasma Lp-PLA(2) decreased (-21 ± 4%) in response to simvastatin (p<0.05 from baseline and placebo), but was unaffected by bezafibrate (1 ± 5%). The drop in Lp-PLA(2) during combined treatment (-17 ± 3%, p<0.05) was similar compared to that during simvastatin alone. The Lp-PLA(2) changes during the 3 active lipid lowering treatment periods were related positively to baseline levels of high sensitive C-reactive protein, non-HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, the total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio and less LDL electronegativity (p<0.02 to p<0.01), and inversely to baseline Lp-PLA(2) (p<0.01). LpPLA(2) responses correlated inversely with changes in non-HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and the total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio during treatment (p<0.05 to p<0.02).


In type 2 diabetes mellitus, plasma Lp-PLA(2) is likely to be lowered by statin treatment only. Enhanced subclinical inflammation and more severe dyslipidemia may predict diminished LpPLA(2) responses during lipid lowering treatment, which in turn appear to be quantitatively dissociated from decreases in apolipoprotein B lipoproteins. Conventional lipid lowering treatment may be insufficient for optimal LpPLA(2) lowering in diabetes mellitus.

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