, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 43-47
Date: 24 Dec 2009

Recent Developments with Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2 Inhibitors

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Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) is a calcium-independent phospholipase A2 enzyme secreted by leukocytes and associated with circulating low-density lipoprotein and macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques. Until recently, the biological role of Lp-PLA2 in atherosclerosis was controversial, but now the preponderance of evidence demonstrates a proatherogenic role of this enzyme. Lp-PLA2 generates two proinflammatory mediators, lysophosphatidylcholine and oxidized nonesterified fatty acids, which play a major role in the development of atherosclerotic lesions and formation of a necrotic core, leading to more vulnerable plaques. These findings have opened the door to a potential novel therapeutic target, selective inhibition of Lp-LPA2. Recently, both animal models and human studies have shown that selective inhibition of Lp-PLA2 reduces plasma Lp-PLA2 activity, plaque area, and necrotic core area. This article reviews the most recent developments with Lp-PLA2 inhibitors.