The protean role of haptoglobin and haptoglobin genotypes on vascular complications in diabetes mellitus

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Abstract

Introduction and background

Haptoglobin (Hp) is considered to be an antioxidant and protective against cardiovascular complications. Polymorphisms in the Hp gene interact with diabetes mellitus to affect the risk of vascular complications.

Methods

We review the updated literature about the protean role of Hp and Hp genotypes spanning genomics, molecular, translational and clinical studies. We searched Pubmed, SCOPUS and Google Scholar for all articles using the keywords: haptoglobin and/or haptoglobin polymorphism and diabetes. We review the diverse Hp genotypes, phenotypes and the impact on diabetes complications, including lessons from animal models and in vitro models. We describe the clinical studies on the associations of Hp genotypes with vascular complications in type 1 and type 2 diabetes comprehensively. We review the studies looking at vitamin E supplementation in a personalized manner in Hp2-2 diabetes individuals.

Results and conclusion

Hp genotypes have evolved as a result of deletions in the traditional Hp genes. The Hp genotypes have been associated with microvascular and macrovascular complications in type 1 diabetes mellitus but the association in type 2 diabetes is more consistent with cardiovascular complications. A preferential benefit of vitamin E and other antioxidants in the Hp2-2 genotype for cardiovascular complications in type 2 diabetes has been seen presumably secondary to interaction with high-density lipoprotein function. Hence, the Hp genotype can be used to personalize antioxidant therapeutics in diabetes patients. These results need to be corroborated in large, global, pragmatic, prospective, cardiovascular outcome trials in type 2 diabetes patients.

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