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Author Topic: Studies begin to identify genes linked to metabolic and body fat changes  (Read 2072 times)

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Offline Ihavehope

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Findings from Denver

Three of the studies examined the effects of variation in the genes for apolipoproteins. These compounds are involved in the transport of cholesterol and other materials around the body, with variation in their genes having been linked to hardening of the arteries and blood triglyceride levels.

In one of these studies, investigators focused on six points within the apolipoprotein genes, two in gene E, three in gene C and one in gene A. In a cohort of 370 patients enrolled in a trial comparing ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (Kaletra) with nelfinavir (Viracept), the investigators found that the type of E genes a patient had were associated with changes in blood cholesterol levels. In contrast, variation at one point in the C gene determined the degree to which triglyceride levels rose (Gometz 2006).

The second study examined a range of genes suspected of being involved in determining blood fat levels, which included the apolipoprotein genes. The investigators concluded that patients with a set of particular variants in these genes were linked to higher triglyceride levels in response to ritonavir (Norvir) treatment. However, they also detected a set of genes that was linked to higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or ‘good’) cholesterol in patients taking non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based treatment (Arnedo 2006).

Thirdly, Cossarizza et al. found evidence of a link between variation in the apolipoprotein C gene and the risk of the loss of fat from under the skin, due to a possible effect of the gene on the metabolism and death of fat cells or ‘adipocytes’.

This group also confirmed a previously-observed link between variations in the gene FAS-670 and fat loss.

In further study presented in Denver, Ranade et al. examined 285 sites within 137 genes for links with metabolic changes, as part of a larger study comparing various protease inhibitor- and NNRTI-containing HIV treatment regimens. In an analysis of 189 patients, only one of these genetic variations was identified as being linked to changes in blood fat levels, regardless of the patients’ race.

They found that a single variation in the gene for resistin, a hormone released by fat tissue, was linked to the risk of a patient developing elevated blood triglyceride levels or changes in blood cholesterol, as well as changes in resistance to insulin, a marker of the development of diabetes.

Finally, an Italian study found a link between variation in the multidrug resistance-1 (MDR-1) gene. This gene, which is better known through its link with resistance to various drugs including some HIV medications, was found to have a link with the accumulation of fat around the internal organs in patients on HIV therapy, as well as cholesterol levels. While patients with two identical copies of the gene, which produces poly-glycoprotein, were at a reduced risk of fat accumulation, patients with genes that differed at the same point were at an increased risk of developing high triglyceride levels (De Luca 2006).

Infected: April 2005
12/6/06 - Diagnosed HIV positive
12/19/06 - CD4 = 240  22% VL = 26,300
1/4/07 - CD4 = 200 16% VL = ?
2/9/07 = Started Kaletra/Truvada
3/13/07 = CD4 = 386 22% VL ?


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