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Mol Genet Metab. 2001 Mar;72(3):231-8.

Subcutaneous abdominal adipocyte size, a predictor of type 2 diabetes, is linked to chromosome 1q21--q23 and is associated with a common polymorphism in LMNA in Pima Indians.

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  • 1Clinical Diabetes and Nutrition Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 4212 N 16th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85016, USA.


Large subcutaneous abdominal adipocyte size (s.c. abd. AS) is associated with insulin resistance and predicts type 2 diabetes in Pima Indians. Because type 2 diabetes is familial, we aimed to determine whether mean s.c. abd. AS is also familial and if so, to identify chromosomal regions linked to this measure. Body composition (hydrodensitometry) and mean s.c. abd. AS (fat biopsy) were measured in 295 Pima Indians (179 with normal, 80 with impaired, and 36 with diabetic glucose tolerance) representing 164 nuclear families. Mean s.c. abd. AS, adjusted for age, sex, and percentage body fat was a familial trait (heritability h(2) = 0.48, P < 0.0001). A genome-wide autosomal scan revealed suggestive evidence for linkage (LOD 1.73) of adjusted mean s.c. abd. AS to chromosome 1q21--q23, a region containing LMNA, the gene encoding for the nuclear envelope proteins lamin A/C. Rare mutations in LMNA were recently shown to underlie familial partial lipodystrophy (FPLD), a syndrome characterized by regional loss of adipose tissue, insulin resistance, and glucose intolerance. A common (allelic frequency 0.43) single nucleotide polymorphism (silent 1908C --> T substitution) in exon 10 of LMNA (GenBank X03444) was associated with reduced age-, sex- and percentage body fat-adjusted mean s.c. abd. AS [0.80 +/- 0.17 (CC), 0.76 +/- 0.15 (CT), 0.73 +/- 0.16 (TT) microg lipid/cell, P < 0.05 for CC vs TT]. These findings indicate that approximately half of the variance in mean s.c. abd. AS can be attributed to familial factors and that genetic variation in LMNA might not only underlie rare cases of FPLD, but may also contribute to variation in adipocyte size in the general population.

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