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Apolipoprotein gene polymorphisms and plasma levels in healthy Tunisians and patients with coronary artery disease

Lipids in Health and Disease
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1476-511x-7-46
  • Research
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Aim To analyze apolipoprotein gene polymorphisms in the Tunisian population and to check the relation of these polymorphisms and homocysteine, lipid and apolipoprotein levels to the coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods In healthy blood donors and in patients with CAD complicated by myocardial infarction (MI) four apolipoprotein gene polymorphisms [APO (a) PNR, APO E, APO CI and APO CII] were determined and plasma levels of total homocysteine, total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), HDL-cholesterol (HLD-C) and apolipoproteins (apo A-I, Apo B, Apo E) were measured. Results Analysis of the four apolipoprotein gene polymorphisms shows a relative genetic homogeneity between Tunisian population and those on the other side of Mediterranean basin. Compared to controls, CAD patients have significantly higher main concentrations of TC, TG, LDL-C, apo B and homocysteine, and significantly lower ones of HDL-C, apo A-I and apo E. The four apolipoprotein gene polymorphisms have not showed any significant differences between patients and controls. However, the APO E4 allele appears to be associated to the severity of CAD and to high levels of atherogenic parameters and low level of apo E, which has very likely an anti-atherogenic role. Conclusion Although APO (a) PNR, APO CI and APO CII genes are analyzed in only few populations, they show a frequency distribution, which is not at variance with that of APO E gene and other widely studied genetic markers. In the Tunisian population the APO E 4 appears to be only indirectly involved in the severity of CAD. In the routine practice, in addition of classic parameters, it will be useful to measure the concentration of apo E and that of Homocysteine and if possible to determine the APO E gene polymorphism.

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