Association of HDL-related loci with age-related macular degeneration and plasma lutein and zeaxanthin: the Alienor study

PLoS One. 2013 Nov 6;8(11):e79848. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079848. eCollection 2013.


Background: Several genes implicated in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism have been reported to be associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Furthermore, HDL transport the two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are highly suspected to play a key-role in the protection against AMD. The objective is to confirm the associations of HDL-related loci with AMD and to assess their associations with plasma lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations.

Methods: Alienor study is a prospective population-based study on nutrition and age-related eye diseases performed in 963 elderly residents of Bordeaux, France. AMD was graded according to the international classification, from non-mydriatic colour retinal photographs. Plasma lutein and zeaxanthin were determined by normal-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The following polymorphisms were studied: rs493258 and rs10468017 (LIPC), rs3764261 (CETP), rs12678919 (LPL) and rs1883025 (ABCA1).

Results: After multivariate adjustment, the TT genotype of the LIPC rs493258 variant was significantly associated with a reduced risk for early and late AMD (OR=0.64, 95%CI: 0.41-0.99; p=0.049 and OR=0.26, 95%CI: 0.08-0.85; p=0.03, respectively), and with higher plasma zeaxanthin concentrations (p=0.03), while plasma lipids were not significantly different according to this SNP. Besides, the LPL variant was associated with early AMD (OR=0.67, 95%CI: 0.45-1.00; p=0.05) and both with plasma lipids and plasma lutein (p=0.047). Associations of LIPC rs10468017, CETP and ABCA1 polymorphisms with AMD did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that LIPC and LPL genes could both modify the risk for AMD and the metabolism of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Lipase / genetics
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / genetics
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / genetics*
  • Lutein / blood*
  • Macular Degeneration / blood*
  • Macular Degeneration / genetics*
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Prospective Studies
  • Xanthophylls / blood*
  • Zeaxanthins


  • LIPC protein, human
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Xanthophylls
  • Zeaxanthins
  • Lipase
  • LPL protein, human
  • Lipoprotein Lipase
  • Lutein

Grants and funding

Laboratoires Théa participated in the design of the study, but had no role in the data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript. Others funders: Fondation Voir et Entendre (Paris, France), Conseil Régional d’Aquitaine (Convention n° 20091301029, Bordeaux, France) and Fondation pour la recherche médicale, France (FRM) had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.