Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Medical Genetics and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

The effect of ABCA1 gene polymorphisms on ischaemic stroke risk and relationship with lipid profile

Alireza Pasdar1, Ghasem Yadegarfar2, Alastair Cumming3, Lawrence Whalley1, David St Clair1 and Mary-Joan MacLeod4*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Mental Health, University of Aberdeen, UK

2 Public Health Sciences & Medical Statistics Group, University of Southhampton, UK

3 Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Aberdeen, UK

4 Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Aberdeen, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Medical Genetics 2007, 8:30  doi:10.1186/1471-2350-8-30

Published: 6 June 2007

Abstract

Background

Ischaemic stroke is a common disorder with genetic and environmental components contributing to overall risk. Atherothromboembolic abnormalities, which play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of ischaemic stroke, are often the end result of dysregulation of lipid metabolism. The ATP Binding Cassette Transporter (ABCA1) is a key gene involved in lipid metabolism. It encodes the cholesterol regulatory efflux protein which mediates the transfer of cellular phospholipids and cholesterol to acceptor apolipoproteins such as apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I). Common polymorphisms in this gene affect High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C) and Apolipoprotein A-I levels and so influence the risk of atherosclerosis. This study has assessed the distribution of ABCA1 polymorphisms and haplotype arrangements in patients with ischaemic stroke and compared them to an appropriate control group. It also examined the relationship of these polymorphisms with serum lipid profiles in cases and controls.

Methods

We studied four common polymorphisms in ABCA1 gene: G/A-L158L, G/A-R219K, G/A-G316G and G/A-R1587K in 400 Caucasian ischaemic stroke patients and 487 controls. Dynamic Allele Specific Hybridisation (DASH) was used as the genotyping assay.

Results

Genotype and allele frequencies of all polymorphisms were similar in cases and controls, except for a modest difference in the ABCA1 R219K allele frequency (P-value = 0.05). Using the PHASE2 program, haplotype frequencies for the four loci (158, 219, 316, and 1587) were estimated in cases and controls. There was no significant difference in overall haplotypes arrangement in patients group compared to controls (p = 0.27). 2211 and 1211 haplotypes (1 = common allele, 2 = rare allele) were more frequent in cases (p = 0.05). Adjusted ORs indicated 40% and 46% excess risk of stroke for these haplotypes respectively. However, none of the adjusted ORs were statistically significant. Individuals who had R219K "22" genotype had a higher LDL level (p = 0.001).

Conclusion

Our study does not support a major role for the ABCA1 gene as a risk factor for ischaemic stroke. Some haplotypes may confer a minor amount of increased risk or protection. Polymorphisms in this gene may influence serum lipid profile.