JLR Patient-Oriented and Epidemiological Research
- Dyslipidemia is a well-established risk factor for CVD. Studies suggest that similar fat accumulation in a given population might result in different levels of dyslipidemia risk among individuals; for example, despite similar or leaner body composition compared with Caucasians, Asians of Korean descent experience a higher prevalence of dyslipidemia. These variations imply a possible role of gene-obesity interactions on lipid profiles. Genome-wide association studies have identified more than 500 loci regulating plasma lipids, but the interaction structure between genes and obesity traits remains unclear.
- Severe hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) is a relatively common form of dyslipidemia with a complex pathophysiology and serious health complications. HTG can develop in the presence of rare genetic factors disrupting genes involved in the triglyceride (TG) metabolic pathway, including large-scale copy-number variants (CNVs). Improvements in next-generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatic analyses have better allowed assessment of CNVs as possible causes of or contributors to severe HTG. We screened targeted sequencing data of 632 patients with severe HTG and identified partial deletions of the LPL gene, encoding the central enzyme involved in the metabolism of TG-rich lipoproteins, in four individuals (0.63%).
- apoE, a key regulator of plasma lipids, mediates altered functionalities in lipoprotein metabolism and thus affects the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). The significance of different apoE polymorphisms remains unclear; although the ε4 allele is clearly associated with increased cholesterol levels (which inform CAD risk), direct studies about apoE polymorphisms on CAD risk and development have yielded controversial results. Furthermore, certain species of ceramides—complex lipids abundant in plasma LDL—are markers of increased risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular death.
- Familial dysbetalipoproteinemia (FD) is a genetic disorder associated with impaired postprandial lipid clearance. The effect of adding bezafibrate to standard lipid-lowering therapy on postprandial and fasting lipid levels in patients with FD is unknown. In this randomized placebo-controlled double-blind crossover trial, 15 patients with FD received bezafibrate and placebo for 6 weeks in randomized order in addition to standard lipid-lowering therapy (statin, ezetimibe, and/or lifestyle). We assessed post-fat load lipids, expressed as incremental area under the curve (iAUC) and area under the curve (AUC), as well as fasting levels and safety, and found that adding bezafibrate did not reduce post-fat load non-HDL-cholesterol (non-HDL-C) iAUC (1.78 ± 4.49 mmol·h/l vs.
- HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) remains a superior biochemical predictor of CVD risk, but its genetic basis is incompletely defined. In patients with extreme HDL-C concentrations, we concurrently evaluated the contributions of multiple large- and small-effect genetic variants. In a discovery cohort of 255 unrelated lipid clinic patients with extreme HDL-C levels, we used a targeted next-generation sequencing panel to evaluate rare variants in known HDL metabolism genes, simultaneously with common variants bundled into a polygenic trait score.
- Lipid concentrations are heritable traits. Recently, the number of known genetic loci associated with lipid levels in adults increased from 95 to 157. The effects of these 157 loci have not been tested in children. Considering that lipid levels track from childhood to adulthood, we studied to determine whether these variants already affected lipid concentrations in a large group of 2,645 children with a median age of 6.0 years (95% range 5.7–7.3 years) from the population-based Generation R Study.