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Fatty Acid Oxidation Gene Polymorphism Affects Left Ventricular Growth In Exercise And Hypertension

A polymorphism of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor a gene (PPARa) influences left ventricular growth in response to exercise and hypertension.

“Left ventricular hypertrophy occurs as an adaptive response to a physiological (such as exercise) or pathological (valvular disease, hypertension or obesity) increase in cardiac work,” explain investigators.

Previous research has shown that defects in fatty acid oxidation can cause severe early-onset cardiac hypertrophy. The investigators evaluated the effects of a polymorphism in the PPARa gene. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor a regulates myocardial fatty acid oxidation. It is downregulated in cardiac hypertrophy accompanying a switch from fatty acid to glucose utilization.

The investigators, from multiple European institutions including the University College London Medical School in London, England, and the University of Regensburg in Regensburg, Germany, studied 144 young male British Army recruits undergoing physical training and 1,148 men and women from the Third Monitoring Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Disease (MONICA) Augsburg study.

They found that a G/C polymorphism in intron 7 of PPARa gene had a significant effect on left ventricular growth in response to exercise. Left ventricular mass did increase in GG homozygotes but increased more in heterozygotes and was greatest in CC homozygotes.

Also, hypertensive subjects who were homozygous for the C allele had significantly higher left ventricular mass and had a higher prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy.

Circulation 2002; 105(8): 950-955. “Peroxisome Proliferator–Activated Receptor [alpha]Gene Regulates Left Ventricular Growth in Response to Exercise and Hypertension”

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