Triglyceride Concentration is Independently Associated with Variation in the LPL Gene in African American and European American Women

Krista Casazza*, 1, Nihal Natour1, Jasmin Divers5, Laura Kelly Vaughan2, Abigail W. Bigham4, Barbara A. Gower1, Gary R. Hunter1, 3, José R. Fernández1, 2
1 Department of Nutrition Sciences and Clinical Nutrition Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
2 Section on Statistical Genetics, Department of Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
3 Department of Human Studies, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
4 Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
5 Section on Statistical Genetics and Bioinformatics, Department of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA

© 2009 Casazza et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Nutrition Sciences, Webb 415, 1530 3rd Ave S, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-3360, USA; Tel: (205) 975-6226; Fax: (205) 934-7050; E-mail:



The regulation of triglyceride (TG) metabolism may be affected by many factors including: race/ethnicity, body composition, body fat distribution, insulin action, and the activity of the lipoprotein lipase (LPL) enzyme. This study was designed to identify the independent effects of body composition, body fat distribution, insulin action, and LPL genetic variation on TG and HDL-C concentration.


The study consisted of premenopausal European American (EA) (n=114) and African American (AA) (n=140) women.


Body composition was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), intra-abdominal adipose tissue (IAAT) by computed tomography (CT), insulin sensitivity (SI) and the acute insulin response to glucose (AIRg) by intravenous glucose tolerance test, median household income by zip-code. An estimate of individual genetic admixture was obtained from the genotyping of 85 ancestry informative markers and used to control for population stratification. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify contributions of body composition, IAAT, SI, AIRg, African genetic admixture, and LPL polymorphisms to TG and HDL-C.


AA had lower TG and higher HDL-C than EA. African genetic admixture, IAAT, AIRg, SI, and RS285 were significantly and independently related to TG concentration. SI was the only independent contributor to HDL-C. RS1800590 was not associated with variation in TG or HDL.


Triglyceride concentration appears to be multifactorial in origin and emanates in part from variance in LPL RS285. Future investigations are necessary to understand the mechanisms through which gene polymorphisms, body fat distribution, and insulin action influence the lipid profile.

Keywords: Triglyceride, HDL-C, LPL, premenopausal women, gene polymorphism, insulin sensitivity.