Clinical and Experimental Medicine

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 164–172 | Cite as

ApoE ε2/ε3/ε4 polymorphism, ApoC-III/ApoE ratio and metabolic syndrome

  • O. Olivieri
  • N. Martinelli
  • A. Bassi
  • E. Trabetti
  • D. Girelli
  • F. Pizzolo
  • S. Friso
  • P. F. Pignatti
  • R. Corrocher


Triglyceride-rich lipoproteins contain both apolipoproteins E (ApoE) and C-III (ApoC-III), which show opposite functional properties. The relationships between the ApoE (ε2/ε3/ε4) gene polymorphism and ApoC-III/ApoE ratio has never been investigated. A large population (n=552) of cardiovascular patients, without diabetes and/or lipid-lowering therapy, with or without metabolic syndrome (MetSyn), was genotyped for ε2/ε3/ε4 polymorphism and their ApoCIII/ApoE ratio was evaluated. A second group of patients (n=76) with peripheral artery disease was also genotyped and their ApoC-III/ApoE ratios were measured in HDL and non-HDL fractions. Subjects with E2 had higher and E4 carriers lower TG,ApoE and ApoC-III levels, respectively. The ApoCIII/ ApoE ratio showed an opposite trend, gradually increasing from E2/E2 to E4/E4 subjects. MetSyn patients also had an elevated ApoC-III/ApoE ratio and E4 carriers were more frequent in MetSyn patients (OR 2.08 with a 95%CI 1.22–3.5). The distribution of ApoC-III/ApoE ratio was confirmed also in the second group, with lower values in E2/E3 and higher in E3/E4 subjects. Similar results were obtained for the concentrations measured in non-HDL fractions, but not in the HDL fractions. ApoE ε2/ε/ε4 gene polymorphism is a determinant of the relative proportion of apolipoprotein C-III to E. Carriers of the unfavourable E4 allele present the highest ApoCIII/ApoE ratio and are twofold more frequent among individuals affected by MetSyn.

Key words

ApoE genotype Metabolic syndrome ApoC-III/ApoE ratio 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Olivieri
    • 1
  • N. Martinelli
    • 1
  • A. Bassi
    • 2
  • E. Trabetti
    • 3
  • D. Girelli
    • 1
  • F. Pizzolo
    • 1
  • S. Friso
    • 1
  • P. F. Pignatti
    • 3
  • R. Corrocher
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit of Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Cattedra di Medicina InternaUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Clinical ChemistryUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  3. 3.Section of Biology and Genetics, Department of Mother and Child and Biology — GeneticsUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly

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