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Arteriosclerosis. 1989 Sep-Oct;9(5):579-92.

Detection and quantification of lipoprotein(a) in the arterial wall of 107 coronary bypass patients.

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Medizinische Kern und Poliklinik, Universit├Ąts-Krankenhaus Eppendorf, Hamburg, FRG.

Erratum in

  • Arteriosclerosis 1990 Nov-Dec;10(6):1147.


The aim of this study was to determine the extent of accumulation of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] in human arterial wall and to define its potential role in atherogenesis. Biopsies routinely taken from the ascending aorta of 107 patients undergoing aortocoronary bypass surgery were analyzed for lipid and lipoprotein parameters, which were then correlated to serum values. A significant positive correlation was established between serum Lp(a) and arterial wall apolipoprotein (apo)(a) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. High serum Lp(a) also led to a significant increase of apo B in the arterial wall. No significant correlation was found between apo B in serum and aortic tissue. Apo B was found to be partially linked to apo(a) in the aortic extract. Furthermore, apo(a) was found to be intact, as determined by its molecular weight in sodium dodecyl sulfate electrophoresis. This technique also revealed that the apo(a) isoform pattern of aortic homogenate was comparable to the individual serum pattern. Immunohistochemical methods demonstrated a striking colocalization of apo(a) and apo B in the arterial wall, predominantly located extracellularly. Both proteins were increased in atherosclerotic plaques. With density gradient ultracentrifugation, Lp(a)-like particles could be isolated from plaque tissue. This initial study showed that Lp(a) accumulates in the arterial wall, partly in the form of lipoprotein-like particles, therefore contributing to plaque formation and coronary heart disease.

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