Background: Studies have shown that hyperuricaemia is independently related to the insulin resistance syndrome and that polymorphisms of the apolipoprotein AI-CIII-AIV cluster are also related to insulin resistance.
Objective: To study the prevalence of polymorphisms of the apolipoprotein AI-CIII-AIV cluster in persons with gout and to determine whether these polymorphisms contribute to the pathophysiology of gout or to altered lipid concentrations.
Methods: Plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid, VLDL, LDL, IDL, and HDL triglycerides, cholesterol, and the renal excretion of uric acid were measured in 68 patients with gout with gout and 165 healthy subjects. Polymorphisms were studied by amplification and RFLP in all subjects, using XmnI and MspI in the apolipoprotein AI gene and SstI in the apolipoprotein CIII gene.
Results: The A allele at position –75 bp in the apolipoprotein AI gene was more common in patients with gout than in controls (p = 0.01). Levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid, basal glycaemia, and HDL cholesterol were higher in the patients (p<0.001). In the patients there was also an interaction between mutations at the two polymorphic loci studied in the apolipoprotein AI gene (p = 0.04). An absence of the mutation at position –75 bp of the apolipoprotein AI gene resulted in increased plasma triglyceride levels.
Conclusions: Gouty patients have an altered allelic distribution in the apolipoprotein AI-CIII-AIV cluster, which could lead to changes in levels of lipoproteins. This is not caused by a single mutation but rather by a combination of different mutations.