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J Hepatol. 2011 Dec;55(6):1409-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2011.03.035. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

The APOC3 T-455C and C-482T promoter region polymorphisms are not associated with the severity of liver damage independently of PNPLA3 I148M genotype in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Universit√† degli Studi Milano, UO Medicina Interna 1B, Ospedale Maggiore Ca' Granda Fondazione Policlinico IRCCS, Milan, Italy.



The T-455C and C-482T APOC3 promoter region polymorphisms (SNPs) have recently been reported to predispose to dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in Indian subjects, but the association with liver damage has not been evaluated so far. The aim was to assess the association between APOC3 SNPs and liver damage in Caucasian patients.


We considered 437 Italian patients with histological diagnosis of NAFLD (including 137 children, 120 morbid obese) and 316 healthy controls, 71 Italian family trios, and 321 patients from the UK. APOC3 SNPs were determined by sequencing, allele-specific oligonucleotide probes and PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, hepatic APOC3 mRNA levels by real-time PCR.


APOC3 SNPs were not associated with NAFLD in Italian subjects, although a borderline significance for the transmission of the -455T allele was observed in the family study. Homozygosity for the APOC3 wild-type genotype (APOC3 WT) was associated with a more favorable lipid profile in control subjects, and consistently with lower hepatic APOC3 mRNA levels in obese patients without diabetes. However, APOC3 SNPs, alone or in combination, were not associated with insulin resistance, altered lipid levels, liver enzymes, and with liver damage (severity of steatosis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and moderate/severe fibrosis) in Italian as well as in UK patients, and in the whole cohort. Stratification for the I148M PNPLA3 mutation, associated with the susceptibility to NASH, did not alter the results.


APOC3 genotype is not associated with progressive liver damage in Caucasian patients with NAFLD.

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