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      APOL1 Genetic Variants Are Associated with Serum-Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein Levels and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in South African CKD Patients

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          Introduction: Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) plays an important role in cholesterol metabolism and attenuation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation. While protecting against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense infection, APOL1 risk alleles confer greater risk for CKD and cardiovascular disease among patients of African descent. Objectives: We investigated whether APOL1 risk variants are associated with atherosclerosis and oxidized LDL (OxLDL) levels among black South African CKD patients. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 120 adult CKD patients and 40 controls was undertaken. DNA samples of participants were genotyped for APOL1 G1 and G2 variants. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein, serum lipids, and OxLDL levels were measured, and carotid doppler ultrasonography was performed on all participants. Results: APOL1 alleles rs73885319, rs60910145, and rs71785313 had minor allele frequencies of 9.2, 8.8, and 17.5%, respectively, in the patients, and 8.8, 8.8, and 13.8%, respectively, in the controls. Of the 9 patients with 2 APOL1 risk alleles, 77.8% were compound G1/G2 heterozygotes and 22.2% were G2 homozygotes. Carriers of at least 1 APOL1 risk allele had a 3-fold increased risk of subclinical atherosclerosis (odds ratio 3.19; 95% confidence interval: 1.64–6.19; p = 0.01) compared to individuals with no risk alleles. Patients with 1 or 2 APOL1 risk alleles showed a significant increase in OxLDL levels when compared with those without the APOL1 risk allele. Conclusion: These findings suggest an increased risk for atherosclerosis in carriers of a single APOL1 risk variant, and the presence of APOL1 risk variants was associated with increased serum OxLDL levels in black South African CKD patients.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Association of coronary heart disease incidence with carotid arterial wall thickness and major risk factors: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, 1987-1993.

          Few studies have determined whether greater carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) in asymptomatic individuals is associated prospectively with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). In the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, carotid IMT, an index of generalized atherosclerosis, was defined as the mean of IMT measurements at six sites of the carotid arteries using B-mode ultrasound. The authors assessed its relation to CHD incidence over 4-7 years of follow-up (1987-1993) in four US communities (Forsyth County, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Washington County, Maryland) from samples of 7,289 women and 5,552 men aged 45-64 years who were free of clinical CHD at baseline. There were 96 incident events for women and 194 for men. In sex-specific Cox proportional hazards models adjusted only for age, race, and center, the hazard rate ratio comparing extreme mean IMT (> or = 1 mm) to not extreme (< 1 mm) was 5.07 for women (95% confidence interval 3.08-8.36) and 1.85 for men (95% confidence interval 1.28-2.69). The relation was graded (monotonic), and models with cubic splines indicated significant nonlinearity. The strength of the association was reduced by including major CHD risk factors, but remained elevated at higher IMT. Up to 1 mm mean IMT, women had lower adjusted annual event rates than did men, but above 1 mm their event rate was closer to that of men. Thus, mean carotid IMT is a noninvasive predictor of future CHD incidence.
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            Common carotid intima-media thickness and risk of stroke and myocardial infarction: the Rotterdam Study.

            Noninvasive assessment of intima-media thickness (IMT) is widely used in observational studies and trials as an intermediate or proxy end point for cardiovascular disease. However, data showing that IMT predicts cardiovascular disease are limited. We studied whether common carotid IMT is related to future stroke and myocardial infarction. We used a nested case-control approach among 7983 subjects aged > or =55 years participating in the Rotterdam Study. At baseline (March 1990 through July 1993), ultrasound images of the common carotid artery were stored on videotape. Determination of incident myocardial infarction and stroke was predominantly based on hospital discharge records. Analysis (logistic regression) was based on 98 myocardial infarctions and 95 strokes that were registered before December 31, 1994. IMT was measured from videotape for all case subjects and a sample of 1373 subjects who remained free from myocardial infarction and stroke during follow-up. The mean duration of follow-up was 2.7 years. Results were adjusted for age and sex. Stroke risk increased gradually with increasing IMT. The odds ratio for stroke per standard deviation increase (0.163 mm) was 1.41 (95% CI, 1.25 to 1.82). For myocardial infarction, an odds ratio of 1.43 (95% CI, 1.16 to 1.78) was found. When subjects with a previous myocardial infarction or stroke were excluded, odds ratios were 1.57 (95% CI, 1.27 to 1.94) for stroke and 1.51 (95% CI, 1.18 to 1.92) for myocardial infarction. Additional adjustment for several cardiovascular risk factors attenuated these associations: 1.34 (95% CI, 1.08 to 1.67) and 1.25 (95% CI, 0.98 to 1.58), respectively. The present study, based on a short follow-up period, provides evidence that an increased common carotid IMT is associated with future cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events.
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              APOL1 risk variants, race, and progression of chronic kidney disease.

              Among patients in the United States with chronic kidney disease, black patients are at increased risk for end-stage renal disease, as compared with white patients. In two studies, we examined the effects of variants in the gene encoding apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) on the progression of chronic kidney disease. In the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK), we evaluated 693 black patients with chronic kidney disease attributed to hypertension. In the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study, we evaluated 2955 white patients and black patients with chronic kidney disease (46% of whom had diabetes) according to whether they had 2 copies of high-risk APOL1 variants (APOL1 high-risk group) or 0 or 1 copy (APOL1 low-risk group). In the AASK study, the primary outcome was a composite of end-stage renal disease or a doubling of the serum creatinine level. In the CRIC study, the primary outcomes were the slope in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and the composite of end-stage renal disease or a reduction of 50% in the eGFR from baseline. In the AASK study, the primary outcome occurred in 58.1% of the patients in the APOL1 high-risk group and in 36.6% of those in the APOL1 low-risk group (hazard ratio in the high-risk group, 1.88; P<0.001). There was no interaction between APOL1 status and trial interventions or the presence of baseline proteinuria. In the CRIC study, black patients in the APOL1 high-risk group had a more rapid decline in the eGFR and a higher risk of the composite renal outcome than did white patients, among those with diabetes and those without diabetes (P<0.001 for all comparisons). Renal risk variants in APOL1 were associated with the higher rates of end-stage renal disease and progression of chronic kidney disease that were observed in black patients as compared with white patients, regardless of diabetes status. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others.).

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                July 2020
                11 June 2020
                : 144
                : 7
                : 331-340
                aDivisions of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
                bInternal Medicine Research Laboratory, Department of Internal Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
                cDivision of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
                dDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
                Author notes
                *Dr. Muzamil Olamide Hassan, Department of Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife-Ibadan Road, Ile-Ife 220282 (Nigeria),
                507860 Nephron 2020;144:331–340
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 3, Pages: 10
                Clinical Practice: Research Article


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