Adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity is under strong genetic control in both mice and humans. This study determines whether common DNA variation in the LPL gene (PvuII and HindII polymorphisms) is associated with adipose tissue LPL activity and metabolic risk factors in a homogeneous population of 75 overweight postmenopausal women (body mass index > 25 kg/m2; age: 51-69 years old). The allele frequencies for the presence of the cut-sites for LPL HindIII and PvuII were 0.71 and 0.49, respectively. There were no associations between the HindIII polymorphism and any of the measured variables. Age, body mass index, percent body fat, waist-hip ratio, visceral and subcutaneous fat area, and gluteal (GLT) and abdominal (ABD) adipocyte size did not differ by LPL PvuII genotype. However, adipose tissue LPL activity at both GLT and ABD sites was higher in women without the LPL PvuII[ cut-site (-/-) compared with women who were heterozygous (+/-) or homozygous (+/+) for the cut-site (P < 0.05). Total and LDL cholesterol were lower in women without the LPL PvuII cut-site (-/-) compared with women who were heterozygous or homozygous for the cut-site (P < 0.05), whereas triglyceride and HDL levels were similar between LPL PvuII genotypes. Fasting glucose, but not insulin, was lower in women without the LPL PvuII cut-site (-/-). These data suggest that the LPL PvuII polymorphism is a possible marker for a functional mutation that is found in the LPL gene and that alters LPL activity in older overweight women.
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