Associations of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the MLXIPL lipid gene with Alzheimer’s (AD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) and potentially causal mediation effects of their risk factors, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides (TG), were examined in two samples of European ancestry from the US (22,712 individuals 587/2,608 AD/CHD cases) and the UK Biobank (UKB) (232,341 individuals; 809/15,269 AD/CHD cases). Our results suggest that these associations can be regulated by several biological mechanisms and shaped by exogenous exposures. Two patterns of associations (represented by rs17145750 and rs6967028) were identified. Minor alleles of rs17145750 and rs6967028 demonstrated primary (secondary) association with high TG (lower HDL-C) and high HDL-C (lower TG) levels, respectively. The primary association explained ~50% of the secondary one suggesting partly independent mechanisms of TG and HDL-C regulation. The magnitude of the association of rs17145750 with HDL-C was significantly higher in the US vs. UKB sample and likely related to differences in exogenous exposures in the two countries. rs17145750 demonstrated a significant detrimental indirect effect through TG on AD risk in the UKB only (βIE = 0.015, pIE = 1.9 × 10−3), which suggests protective effects of high TG levels against AD, likely shaped by exogenous exposures. Also, rs17145750 demonstrated significant protective indirect effects through TG and HDL-C in the associations with CHD in both samples. In contrast, rs6967028 demonstrated an adverse mediation effect through HDL-C on CHD risk in the US sample only (βIE = 0.019, pIE = 8.6 × 10−4).
- Alzheimer's disease
- coronary heart disease