Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary We studied the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] as a function of apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)] phenotype in 87 members (42 males, 45 females) of 20 diabetic families, 26 of whom were diagnosed with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) with moderate glycaemic control (HbA1c7.1±1.2%). Apo(a) phenotyping was performed by a sensitive, high-resolution technique using SDS-agarose/gradient PAGE (3–6%). To date, 26 different apo(a) phenotypes, including a null type, have been identified. Serum Lp(a) levels of NIDDM patients and non-diabetic members of the same family who had the same apo(a) phenotypes were compared, while case control subjects were chosen from high-Lp(a) non-diabetic and low-Lp(a) non-diabetic groups with the same apo(a) phenotypes in the same family. Serum Lp(a) levels were significantly higher in NIDDM patients than in non-diabetic subjects (39.8±33.3 vs 22.3±19.5 mg/dl, p〈0.05). The difference in the mean Lp(a) level between the diabetic and non-diabetic groups was significantly (p〈0.05) greater than that between the high-Lp(a) non-diabetic and low-Lp(a) non-diabetic groups. An analysis of covariance and a least square means comparison indicated that the regression line between serum Lp(a) levels [log Lp(a)] and apo(a) phenotypes in the diabetic patient group was significantly (p〈0.01) elevated for each apo(a) phenotype, compared to the regression line of the control group. These data, together with our previous findings that serum Lp(a) levels are genetically controlled by apo(a) phenotypes, suggest that Lp(a) levels in diabetic patients are not regulated by smaller apo(a) isoforms, and that serum Lp(a) levels are greater in diabetic patients than in non-diabetic family members, even when they share the same apo(a) phenotypes.
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