Low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP1) mediates the internalization of aggregated LDL (AgLDL), which in turn increases the expression of LRP1 in human vascular smooth muscle cells (hVSMCs). This positive feedback mechanism is thus highly efficient to promote the formation of hVSMC foam cells, a crucial vascular component determining the susceptibility of atherosclerotic plaque to rupture. Here we have determined the LRP1 domains involved in AgLDL recognition with the aim of specifically blocking AgLDL internalization in hVSMCs. The capacity of fluorescently labeled AgLDL to bind to functional LRP1 clusters was tested in a receptor-ligand fluorometric assay made by immobilizing soluble LRP1 "minireceptors" (sLRP1-II, sLRP1-III, and sLRP1-IV) recombinantly expressed in CHO cells. This assay showed that AgLDL binds to cluster II. We predicted three well exposed and potentially immunogenic peptides in the CR7-CR9 domains of this cluster (termed P1 (Cys(1051)-Glu(1066)), P2 (Asp(1090)-Cys(1104)), and P3 (Gly(1127)-Cys(1140))). AgLDL, but not native LDL, bound specifically and tightly to P3-coated wells. Rabbit polyclonal antibodies raised against P3 prevented AgLDL uptake by hVSMCs and were almost twice as effective as anti-P1 and anti-P2 Abs in reducing intracellular cholesteryl ester accumulation. Moreover, anti-P3 Abs efficiently prevented AgLDL-induced LRP1 up-regulation and counteracted the down-regulatory effect of AgLDL on hVSMC migration. In conclusion, domain CR9 appears to be critical for LRP1-mediated AgLDL binding and internalization in hVSMCs. Our results open new avenues for an innovative anti-VSMC foam cell-based strategy for the treatment of vascular lipid deposition in atherosclerosis.