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29 January 2008

Lipid levels are associated with a regulatory polymorphism of the monoamine oxidase-A gene promoter (MAOA-uVNTR)

Beverly H. BrummettACDEF, Stephen H. BoyleDEF, Ilene C. SieglerABG, Stephan ZuchnerAE, Allison Ashley-KochABDE, Redford B. WilliamsADEG

Med Sci Monit 2008; 14(2): CR57-61 :: ID: 734750

Abstract

Background
The monoamine oxidase-A (MAOA) gene plays a vital role in the metabolism of neurotransmitters, e.g, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. A polymorphism in the promoter region (MAOA-uVNTR) affects transcriptional efficiency. Allelic variation in MAOA-uVNTR has been associated with body mass index (BMI). We extended previous work by examining relations among this polymorphism and serum lipid levels.
Material and Method
The sample consisted of 74 males enrolled in a study of caregivers for relatives with dementia. Regression models, adjusted for age, race, group status (caregiver/control), and cholesterol lowering medication (yes/no), were used to examine associations between high verses low MAOA-uVNTR activity alleles and total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, VLDL, LDL/HDL ratio, triglycerides, and BMI.
Results
Higher total cholesterol (p<0.03), LDL/HDL ratio (p<0.01), triglycerides (p<0.02), and VLDL (p<0.02) were associated with low activity MAOA-uVNTR alleles. HDL and LDL were modestly related to MAOA-uVNTR activity, however, they did not reach the conventional significance level (p<0.07 and p<0.10, respectively). BMI (p<0.74) was unrelated to MAOA-uVNTR transcription.
Conclusions
The present findings suggest that MAOA-uVNTR may influence lipid levels and individuals with less active alleles are at increased health risk.

Keywords: Promoter Regions, Genetic, Polymorphism, Genetic, Monoamine Oxidase - genetics, Minisatellite Repeats, Lipids - blood, DNA Primers - genetics, Coronary Disease - genetics, Risk Factors, Body Mass Index, Base Sequence, Alleles, Aged, 80 and over

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750