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Research Article

Sib-pair analysis detects elevated Lp(a) levels and large variation of Lp(a) concentration in subjects with familial defective ApoB.

Y Y van der Hoek, A Lingenhel, H G Kraft, J C Defesche, J J Kastelein and G Utermann

Department of Vascular Medicine, Academical Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Published May 1, 1997

Whether or not Lp(a) plasma levels are affected by the apoB R3500Q mutation, which causes Familial Defective apoB (FDB), is still a matter of debate. We have analyzed 300 family members of 13 unrelated Dutch index patients for the apoB mutation and the apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)] genotype. Total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] concentrations were determined in 85 FDB heterozygotes and 106 non-FDB relatives. Mean LDL levels were significantly elevated in FDB subjects compared to non-FDB relatives (P < 0.001). Median Lp(a) levels were not different between FDB subjects and their non-FDB relatives. In contrast, sib-pair analysis demonstrated a significant effect of the FDB status on Lp(a) levels. In sib pairs identical by descent for apo(a) alleles but discordant for the FDB mutation (n = 11) each sib with FDB had a higher Lp(a) level than the corresponding non-FDB sib. Further, all possible sib pairs (n = 105) were grouped into three categories according to the absence/presence of the apoB R3500Q mutation in one or both subjects of a sib pair. The variability of differences in Lp(a) levels within the sib pairs increased with the number (0, 1, and 2) of FDB subjects present in the sib pair. This suggests that the FDB status increases Lp(a) level and variability, and that apoB may be a variability gene for Lp(a) levels in plasma.

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