Lack of association of apoE ε4 allele with insulin resistance

Acta Diabetol. 2012 Feb;49(1):25-32. doi: 10.1007/s00592-011-0255-3. Epub 2011 Feb 3.


ApoE is a polymorphic protein involved in the metabolism of plasma lipoproteins; the ε4 allele was shown to be associated with coronary and aortic atherosclerosis in age-dependent fashion mediated by unknown mechanisms. This study was undertaken to assess whether the apoE isoforms in humans were associated with normal glucose tolerance and with metabolic and inflammatory risk factors of CVD. ApoE genotype was assessed in 365 individuals. Of those, 309 were studied in the postabsorptive conditions and 142 of them also underwent a 3h-OGTT; 56 additional subjects were studied by means of the insulin clamp in combination with [6,6-2H2] glucose infusion. ApoE genotype frequencies were similar to those previously reported and were not influenced by age and BMI. Fasting plasma glucose, insulin, FFA, the lipid profile, surrogate markers (HOMA-IR, OGTT-derived index) as well as the clamp-derived parameters or insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion were not different by apoE genotypes. Serum adipokines concentrations (leptin, adiponectin, resistin) and markers of inflammation (serum fasting hsCRP and MCP1/CCL2) were also not different by apoE genotypes. In the subgroup of young ε4 carriers which underwent the clamp procedure, a higher fasting endogenous glucose production was detected. ApoE genotype was not associated with insulin resistance or altered insulin secretion, and no abnormalities in the typical circulating endocrine, metabolic, and inflammatory features of the insulin resistance syndrome were detected.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alleles
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genotype
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Insulin