Adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette (ABC) transporters ABCG5 and ABCG8 are sterol export pumps regulating biliary cholesterol excretion. The formation of gallstones, supersaturated with cholesterol in bile, is determined by genetic and environmental factors. The interaction of susceptible gene polymorphisms with age, sex and body mass index in gallstone disease is unclear.
In a cross-sectional study, 979 subjects (880 men and 99 women, mean(s.d.) age 47·7(10·4) years) were recruited from a hospital-based population. Of these, 74 were diagnosed with gallstone disease by abdominal ultrasonography. Five non-synonymous polymorphisms, E604Q (ABCG5), D19H, C54Y, T400K and A632V (ABCG8), were analysed using the TaqMan® genotyping assay.
The serum total cholesterol and both low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were significantly lower in subjects with gallstones than in those without. 604Q (CC) and D19H (GC) genotypes were significantly associated with gallstone disease, even when adjusted for age, sex and body mass index. The genetic risk of developing gallstone disease was further stratified by age. The risk was greatly increased in subjects younger than 50 years with the D19H genotype and those of 50 years or more with the 604Q genotype.
Carriers of ABCG5 604Q or ABCG8 D19H polymorphisms have an increased risk of gallstone disease independent of age, sex and body mass index. Copyright © 2008 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.