Apolipoprotein E genotype and plasma lipid levels in Caucasian diabetic patients

L Morbois-Trabut, C Chabrolle, M A Garrigue, G Lasfargues, P Lecomte
Diabetes & Metabolism 2006, 32 (3): 270-5

OBJECTIVE: Apo E polymorphism has been shown to affect lipid profiles in non-diabetic and diabetic populations. We evaluated the relationship between Apo E phenotype and fasting lipid plasma levels in type 2 diabetes patients.

METHODS: Two hundred and ten French type 2 diabetic patients (115 men and 95 women) without any lipid lowering drugs were studied. Fasting lipids were measured by usual methods and Apo E genotype was established for each patient: PCR was followed by digestion of the amplification product with restriction enzymes and separation of the fragments by polyacrylamide gel.

RESULTS: Genotypes epsilon3/epsilon3, epsilon2/epsilon3 and epsilon3/epsilon4, epsilon2/epsilon2 and epsilon2/epsilon4 were found in 68.1%, 14.8%, 15.7%, 1.0% and 0.5%, respectively. No patient had the epsilon4/epsilon4 genotype. Lipid plasma levels were compared between E3 group (epsilon3/epsilon3) as a reference and E2 (epsilon2/epsilon2 or epsilon2/epsilon3) or E4 (epsilon3/epsilon4 or epsilon2/epsilon4). Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and Apo B levels were lower in the E2 group. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and Apo B levels were higher in the E4 group. HDL cholesterol levels were increased in the E4 group, as only previously observed in Japanese populations.

CONCLUSION: These results agree with those already reported in diabetic patients of several western European countries. E4 allele carriers have a greater cardio-vascular risk and this could be partially explained by the metabolic variation in lipid metabolism induced by E4 with higher LDL cholesterol and Apo B levels. These results observed in French diabetic subjects without any lipid-lowering drugs may be used as a reference for other studies performed in France.

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