Lipoprotein(A) as orchestrator of calcific aortic valve stenosis

Johan G. Schnitzler, Lubna Ali, Anouk G. Groenen, Yannick Kaiser, Jeffrey Kroon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Aortic valve stenosis (AVS) is the most prevalent disease in the Western World with exponentially increased incidence with age. If left untreated, the yearly mortality rates increase up to 25%. Currently, no effective pharmacological interventions have been established to treat or prevent AVS. The only treatment modality so far is surgical or transcatheter aortic valve replacement (AVR). Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] has been implicated as a pivotal player in the pathophysiology of calcification of the valves. Patients with elevated levels of Lp(a) have a higher risk of hospitalization or mortality due to the presence of AVS. Multiple studies indicated Lp(a) as a likely causal and independent risk factor for AVS. This review discusses the most important findings and mechanisms related to Lp(a) and AVS in detail. During the progression of AVS, Lp(a) enters the aortic valve tissue at damaged sites of the valves. Subsequently, autotaxin converts lysophosphatidylcholine in lysophosphatidic acid (LysoPA) which in turn acts as a ligand for the LysoPA receptor. This triggers a nuclear factor-κB cascade leading to increased transcripts of interleukin 6, bone morphogenetic protein 2, and runt-related transcription factor 2. This progresses to the actual calcification of the valves through production of alkaline phosphatase and calcium depositions. Furthermore, this review briefly mentions potentially interesting therapies that may play a role in the treatment or prevention of AVS in the near future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number760
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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