Apolipoprotein E3/E3 genotype decreases the risk of pituitary dysfunction after traumatic brain injury due to various causes: preliminary data

J Neurotrauma. 2008 Sep;25(9):1071-7. doi: 10.1089/neu.2007.0456.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a devastating public health problem which may result in hypopituitarism. However, the mechanisms and the risk factors responsible for hypothalamo-pituitary dysfunction due to TBI are still unclear. Although APO E is one of the most abundant protein in hypothalamo-pituitary region, there is no study investigating the relation between APO E polymorphism and TBI-induced hypopituitarism. This study was undertaken to determine whether APO E genotypes modulate the pituitary dysfunction risk after TBI due to various causes, including traffic accident, boxing, and kickboxing. Ninety-three patients with TBI (mean age, 30.61 +/- 1.25 years) and 27 healthy controls (mean age, 29.03 +/- 1.70 years) were included in the study. Pituitary functions were evaluated, and APO E genotypes (E2/E2; E3/E3; E4/E4; E2/E3; E2/E4; E3/E4) were screened. Twenty-four of 93 subjects (25.8%) had pituitary dysfunction after TBI. The ratio of pituitary dysfunction was significantly lower in subjects with APO E3/E3 (17.7%) than the subjects without APO E3/E3 genotype (41.9%; p = 0.01), and the corresponding odds ratio was 0.29 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.11-0.78). In conclusion, this study provides strong evidence for the first time that APO E polymorphism is associated with the development of TBI-induced pituitary dysfunction. Present data demonstrated that APO E3/E3 genotype decreases the risk of hypopituitarism after TBI. The demonstration of the association between the APO E polymorphism and TBI may provide a new point of view in this field and promote further studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apolipoprotein E3 / genetics*
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Hypopituitarism / etiology*
  • Hypopituitarism / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk


  • Apolipoprotein E3