Effects of diet on genetic regulation of lipoprotein metabolism in baboons

David L. Rainwater, John L. VandeBerg, Michael C. Mahaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Several measures of lipoprotein phenotype are significant predictors of cardiovascular risk. Although such lipoprotein phenotypes are under strong genetic control, it is not clear to what extent they are controlled by the same - and by different - genes and whether these relationships may be altered in different dietary environments. Therefore, we measured six lipoprotein traits (three LDL traits - LDLC and apoB concentrations and LDL size - and three HDL traits - HDLC and apoA1 concentrations and HDL size) on each of three diets differing in level of fat and cholesterol. In bivariate analyses, all but two metabolically related trait pairs were genetically correlated, though none were completely correlated, implying additive genetic effects by both pleiotropic and unique genes. In comparing genetic correlations for the same pair of traits across diet, we detected evidence of diet effects on genetic control of these metabolically related traits; specifically, increasing level of dietary cholesterol was associated with a significant decrease in the genetic correlation of apoA1 with HDL size, and a significant increase in the genetic correlations of LDL size with LDLC and apoB. The results suggest a complex network of genes affecting lipoprotein metabolism: the genes may exert both unique and pleiotropic effects; the genes may exert detectable effects in many or only in specific dietary environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-504
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Dietary cholesterol
  • Dietary fat
  • Genetic correlation
  • Primate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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