Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Apolipoprotein H (APO H) has recently been identified as a structural component of chylomicrons, very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Although the precise metabolic function of APO H in lipid metabolism is not certain, it has been suggested that APO H may be involved in triglyceride (TG) metabolism. In addition to the previously described quantitative polymorphism, we have recently detected a common qualitative polymorphism at the APO H structural locus. To test the role of APO H genetic variation in determining lipoprotein and lipid levels, we have estimated the allelic effects of APO H variation on TG, VLDL, LDL, HDL, HDL3, and total cholesterol on 356 Nigerian blacks(189 males, 167 females). While no significant effect of phenotype was observed on lipoprotein levels, the effect of interaction between phenotype and gender was significant. Therefore, data on males and females were analyzed separately using analysis of variance after adjusting for age and body mass index. Logarithmic transformation of pertinent variables was done to bring the distribution of the variables closer to normality. A statistically significant effect of phenotype was observed on triglyceride levels in females only (P〈0.05). Further analysis of this phenotypic effect revealed that it is due to the impact of the APO H * 3 allele, which raises triglycerides by 9.92 mg/dl as compared to the common allele, APO H * 2. These findings are in accordance with the postulated role of APO H in triglyceride metabolism. On the basis of its sex-specific effect, we propose a hypothesis that may explain the combined influence of the quantitative and qualitative polymorphisms at the APO H locus on triglyceride levels in females.
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