The effect of apolipoprotein E polymorphism on serum metabolome – a population-based 10-year follow-up study

Juho Pekka Karjalainen*, Nina Mononen, Nina Hutri-Kähönen, Miikael Lehtimäki, Markus Juonala, Mika Ala-Korpela, Mika Kähönen, Olli Raitakari, Terho Lehtimäki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
275 Downloads (Pure)


Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is the key regulator of plasma lipids, mediating altered functionalities in lipoprotein metabolism – affecting the risk of coronary artery (CAD) and Alzheimer’s diseases, as well as longevity. Searching pathways influenced by apoE prior to adverse manifestations, we utilized a metabolome dataset of 228 nuclear-magnetic-resonance-measured serum parameters with a 10-year follow-up from the population-based Young Finns Study cohort of 2,234 apoE-genotyped (rs7412, rs429358) adults, aged 24–39 at baseline. At the end of our follow-up, by limiting FDR-corrected p < 0.05, regression analyses revealed 180/228 apoE-polymorphism-related associations with the studied metabolites, in all subjects – without indications of apoE x sex interactions. Across all measured apoE- and apoB-containing lipoproteins, ε4 allele had consistently atherogenic and ε2 protective effect on particle concentrations of free/esterified cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids and total lipids. As novel findings, ε4 associated with glycoprotein acetyls, LDL-diameter and isoleucine – all reported biomarkers of CAD-risk, inflammation, diabetes and total mortality. ApoE-subgroup differences persisted through our 10-year follow-up, although some variation of individual metabolite levels was noticed. In conclusion, apoE polymorphism associate with a complex metabolic change, including aberrations in multiple novel biomarkers related to elevated cardiometabolic and all-cause mortality risk, extending our understanding about the role of apoE in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number458
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of apolipoprotein E polymorphism on serum metabolome – a population-based 10-year follow-up study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this