Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) is an inflammatory enzyme primarily produced by lymphocytes and macrophages. In plasma, Lp-PLA2 is predominantly bound to LDL and preferentially cleaves oxidized phospholipids, resulting in the generation of lysophosphatidylcholine and oxidized FFAs, both of which are proatherogenic and contribute to the cytotoxic effects of oxidized LDL on macrophages. Elevated levels of Lp-PLA2 indicate a greater risk of plaque formation and rupture and can indicate an increased risk of cardiac events. Approximately two-thirds of heart attacks and strokes are caused by the rupture of an unstable, rupture-prone atherosclerotic plaque.
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