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Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 Mar;31(3):535-42. Epub 2006 Aug 8.

Linkage analysis of circulating levels of adiponectin in Hispanic children.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, TX 78245-0549, USA.



Adiponectin, a hormone produced exclusively by adipose tissue, is inversely associated with insulin resistance and proinflammatory conditions. The aim of this study was to find quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that affect circulating levels of adiponectin in Hispanic children participating in the VIVA LA FAMILIA Study by use of a systematic genome scan.


The present study included extended families with at least one overweight child between 4 and 19 years old. Overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) 95th percentile. Fasting blood was collected from 466 children from 127 families. Adiponectin was assayed by radioimmunoassay (RIA) technique in fasting serum. A genome-wide scan on circulating levels of adiponectin as a quantitative phenotype was conducted using the variance decomposition approach.


The highest logarithm of odds (LOD) score (4.2) was found on chromosome 11q23.2-11q24.2, and a second significant signal (LOD score=3.0) was found on chromosome 8q12.1-8q21.3. In addition, a signal suggestive of linkage (LOD score=2.5) was found between 18q21.3 and 18q22.3. After adjustment for BMI-Z score, the LOD score on chromosome 11 remained unchanged, but the signals on chromosomes 8 and 18 dropped to 1.6 and 1.7, respectively. Two other signals suggestive of linkage were found on chromosome 3 (LOD score=2.1) and 10 (LOD score=2.5). Although the region on chromosome 11 has been associated with obesity and diabetes-related traits in adult populations, this is the first observation of linkage in this region for adiponectin levels. Our suggestive linkages on chromosomes 10 and 3 replicate results for adiponectin seen in other populations. The influence of loci on chromosomes 18 and 8 on circulating adiponectin seemed to be mediated by BMI in the present study.


Our genome scan in children has identified a novel QTL and replicated QTLs in chromosomal regions previously shown to be linked with obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D)-related phenotypes in adults. The genetic contribution of loci to adiponectin levels may vary across different populations and age groups. The strong linkage signal on chromosome 11 is most likely underlain by a gene(s) that may contribute to the high susceptibility of these Hispanic children to obesity and T2D.

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