Effect of fenofibrate therapy and ABCA1 polymorphisms on high-density lipoprotein subclasses in the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network

Michael Y. Tsai, Jose M. Ordovas, Na Li, Robert J. Straka, Naomi Q. Hanson, Valerie L. Arends, Donna Arnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies have shown that ATP-binding cassette transporter 1 (ABCA1) polymorphisms associated with increased ABCA1 expression result in increased small HDL (high-density lipoprotein) subclass particle concentration. This study examines the effect of treatment with fenofibrate, a drug known to bind peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) which increases the expression of ABCA1 gene, on lipoprotein subclass profiles of individuals stratified by ABCA1 genotypes. Methods: Participants of Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN) were treated with fenofibrate over a three week period. We analyzed six ABCA1 polymorphisms in 287 GOLDN participants with triglyceride concentrations ≥150 mg/dL and studied their associations with HDL subclass particle concentrations, as measured by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, before and after treatment. Results: Fenofibrate treatment did not result in significant changes in small HDL subclass particle concentration. When changes in HDL subclasses were stratified by ABCA1 polymorphism genotypes, there were no statistically significant associations between ABCA1 genotypes and small HDL subclasses before fenofibrate treatment. However, after fenofibrate treatment the KK genotype of R1587K (mean 4.40 μmol/L; p = 0.004) and the RK genotype of R219K (mean 1.60 μmol/L; p = 0.02) polymorphisms were associated with significantly increased small HDL. The R1587K KK genotype (mean 4.80 μmol/L; p = 0.0002) and the R219K KK genotype (mean 2.50 μmol/L; p = 0.02) were also associated with increased HDL particle concentrations. Conclusion: There is a synergistic effect between ABCA1 polymorphisms and fenofibrate. Thus, our study indirectly confirms the role of fenofibrate and genotype in increasing cholesterol efflux, as evidenced by increased small HDL particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-122
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • ABCA1
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Fenofibrate
  • Lipoprotein
  • Lipoprotein particle size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology


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