Abstract 1924: Carriers of Loss-of-Function Mutations in ABCA1 Display Pancreatic Beta Cell Dysfunction
Background The ATP Binding Cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) transports free cholesterol to nascent high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and maintains plasma HDL levels. In mice, ABCA1 is essential in regulating intracellular cholesterol homeostasis and insulin secretion in the β cell. The role of ABCA1 in human glucose metabolism is unclear.
Objective and methods To assess the effects of ABCA1 dysfunction on glucose homeostasis in humans, we matched heterozygous carriers of disruptive mutations in ABCA1 and non-carriers for age, gender and BMI and performed oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT; 9 vs. 8 respectively) and hyperglycemic clamping experiments (6 vs. 6).
Results Carriers had lower HDL-C levels than non-carriers (0.58 ± 0.3 vs. 1.46 ± 0.4 mmol/L, p=0.001) but LDL-C did not differ (3.4 ± 1.0 vs. 2.8 ± 0.8 mmol/L, p=0.21). Fasting plasma glucose was not different (5.2 ± 1.5 vs. 5.0 ± 0.4 mmol/L). Glucose curves after OGTT were significantly higher in carriers than in non-carriers (genotype * time interaction, p=0.005; plasma glucose at t=60 min 9.0 ± 3.0 mmol/L vs. 6.0 ± 1.4 mmol/L respectively, p=0.02). During hyperglycemic clamps, carriers showed a lower first phase insulin and C-peptide response than non-carriers (genotype * time interaction, p<0.05 and p<0.01 respectively; insulin at t=5 min 164±118 vs. 352 ±141 pmol/L, p<0.05; C-peptide at t=5 min 1033 ± 628 vs. 1942 ± 723 pmol/L, p<0.05) but no difference in insulin sensitivity index (0.0216 ± 0.012 mg kg−1. min−1. pM−1 for carriers and 0.0197 ± 0.005 mg kg−1. min−1. pM−1 for non-carriers; p=0.73). Disposition index - a measure of β cell function, adjusted for insulin sensitivity - was lower in carriers than in non-carriers (1037 ± 610 vs. 2718 ± 1524; p<0.05). Non-carriers responded to an arginine stimulus with an increase in C-peptide levels (from 3558 ± 1240 pM to 6817 ± 1665 pM; p<0.005), whereas in carriers this increase did not reach statistical significance (from 3727 ± 1843 pM to 5480 ± 1757 pM; p=0.12).
Conclusion Carriers of loss-of-function mutations in ABCA1 show impaired insulin secretion without insulin resistance, resulting in glucose intolerance. Our data confirm previous studies in mice and provide evidence for a role of ABCA1 in β cell dysfunction and the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus in man.