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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jul;90(7):4238-43. Epub 2005 Apr 26.

Liver fat and insulin resistance are independently associated with the -514C>T polymorphism of the hepatic lipase gene.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Pathobiochemistry, University of Tübingen, Germany.



Liver fat predicts insulin resistance in humans. So far, there is not much information on genetic determinants of liver fat. Hepatic lipase is a liver-specific enzyme that regulates lipid metabolism.


First, our object was to investigate whether the functional -514C>T polymorphism of the hepatic lipase gene is associated with liver fat content and with insulin sensitivity. Second, because this polymorphism displays gene-nutrient interactions, we assessed gene-gene interactions with the Pro12Ala polymorphism of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma(2) on liver fat content and insulin sensitivity.


Cross-sectional data from a total of 1070 nondiabetic subjects were analyzed. Insulin sensitivity was estimated from a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test. A subgroup of 115 subjects underwent measurements of liver fat.


The -514C>T polymorphism of the hepatic lipase gene was associated with higher liver fat content (P = 0.005) and lower insulin sensitivity (P = 0.02), both after adjustment for age, gender, and percentage of body fat. This was independent of serum adiponectin concentrations (P = 0.01 and 0.03). However, there was an interaction of the -514C>T polymorphism with the Pro12Ala variant on liver fat (P = 0.09) and insulin sensitivity (P = 0.01). Subjects carrying the -514C>T polymorphism had higher liver fat content and were insulin resistant only before the background of the Pro/Pro genotype of the Pro12Ala polymorphism.


The -514C>T polymorphism of the hepatic lipase gene is associated with higher liver fat content and lower whole-body insulin sensitivity. However, these effects are modulated by the common Pro12Ala polymorphism in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma(2). These findings may be relevant for intervention strategies to prevent increase in liver fat content and insulin resistance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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