Lipid levels are associated with a regulatory polymorphism of the monoamine oxidase-A gene promoter (MAOA-uVNTR).
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.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.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.The present findings suggest that MAOA-uVNTR may influence lipid levels and individuals with less active alleles are at increased health risk.
Brummett, BH; Boyle, SH; Siegler, IC; Zuchner, S; Ashley-Koch, A; Williams, RB
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