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Metabolism. 2004 Oct;53(10):1296-304.

Apolipoprotein C-III protein concentrations and gene polymorphisms in type 1 diabetes: associations with lipoprotein subclasses.

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Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, USA.


Serum apolipoprotein C-III (apoCIII) concentration and apoCIII gene polymorphisms have been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In addition, no studies have been performed that address these issues in type 1 diabetes. The current study investigated apoCIII protein and apoCIII gene variation in a normotriglyceridemic (82 +/- 57 mg/dL) population of patients with type 1 diabetes, the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Intervention and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) cohort. Blood samples were obtained in 409 patients after an overnight fast. Serum apoCIII concentration was highly correlated with multiple changes in lipids and lipoproteins that resulted in an adverse cardiovascular disease risk profile. Higher apoCIII concentrations were associated (P < .0001) with increased triglycerides (r = 0.78), total (r = 0.61) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) (r = 0.40) cholesterol, apoA-I (r = 0.26), and apoB (r = 0.50), and these relationships persisted after controlling for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) lipoprotein subclass analyses demonstrated that apoCIII was correlated with an increase in very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) subclasses (P = .0001). There also was a highly significant positive relationship between serum apoCIII concentration and the LDL particle concentration in both men (r = 0.49, P = .001) and women (r = 0.40, P = .001), and a highly significant negative relationship between serum apoCIII levels and average LDL particle size in both men (r = -0.37, P = .001) and women (r = -0.22, P = .001) due primarily to an augmentation in the small L1 subclass (r = 0.42, P = .0001). Neither the T(-455) --> C polymorphism affecting an insulin response element in the apoCIII gene promoter nor a SacI polymorphism in the 3'UTR were associated with any alterations in circulating apoCIII concentrations, serum lipids, apolipoprotein concentrations, lipoprotein composition, or parameters measured by NMR lipoprotein subclass analyses. In summary, elevated apoCIII concentration was associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease in normolipidemic type 1 diabetic patients through associated changes in lipoprotein subfraction distributions, which were independent of apoCIII genotype.

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