Evidence of pleiotropic loci for fasting insulin, total fat mass, and abdominal visceral fat in a sedentary population: The HERITAGE family study

Yuling Hong, Jean Pierre Després, Treva Rice, André Nadeau, Michael A. Province, Jacques Gagnon, Arthur S. Leon, James S. Skinner, Jack H. Wilmore, Claude Bouchard, D. C. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine whether there is a major gene effect on fasting insulin and pleiotropic loci for fasting insulin, total fat mass (FM), and abdominal visceral fat (AVF). Research Methods and Procedures: A major gene hypothesis for fasting plasma insulin levels was assessed using segregation analyses of data on 495 members in 98 normolipidemic sedentary families of white descent who participated in the HERITAGE Family Study. Results: Segregation analyses were performed on insulin adjusted for age, on insulin adjusted for age and FM, and on insulin adjusted for age and AVF. Before adjustment for AVF and FM, a major gene effect on fasting insulin levels was indicated. The putative locus accounted for 54% of the variance under a recessive inheritance pattern, affecting 11% of the sample (i.e., allele frequency = 0.33). However, after adjusting for the effects of AVF or FM, neither a major effect alone nor a multifactorial component alone could be rejected, and support for a major gene was equivocal, i.e., neither the hypothesis of Mendelian τ values or that of the equal τs were rejected and the equal τ model fit the data better than the Mendelian τ model. This pattern (i.e., major gene evidence for insulin before but not after adjustment for AVF or FM) suggests that there is a putative locus with pleiotropic effects on both insulin and FM and another pleiotropic locus for both insulin and AVF. Discussion: Although these data do not directly support an additional major gene for insulin independent of AVF and FM, such support cannot be ruled out because there is still a significant major effect on FM- or AVF-adjusted insulin (albeit the Mendelian nature of this effect is ambiguous).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalObesity research
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2000

Keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Genetic epidemiology
  • Insulin resistance
  • Obesity
  • Segregation analysis

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