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eISSN: 1643-3750

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

Beverly H. Brummett, Stephen H. Boyle, Ilene C. Siegler, Stephan Zuchner, Allison Ashley-Koch, Redford B. Williams

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

ID: 734750


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.

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