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Diabetologia. 2004 Jun;47(6):1079-87. Epub 2004 May 29.

Large-scale studies of the HphI insulin gene variable-number-of-tandem-repeats polymorphism in relation to Type 2 diabetes mellitus and insulin release.

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Steno Diabetes Center and Hagedorn Research Institute, Niels Steensens Vej 2, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark.



The class III allele of the variable-number-of-tandem-repeats polymorphism located 5' of the insulin gene (INS-VNTR) has been associated with Type 2 diabetes and altered birthweight. It has also been suggested, although inconsistently, that the class III allele plays a role in glucose-induced insulin response among NGT individuals.


We investigated the impact of the class III allele on Type 2 diabetes susceptibility in a case-control study involving 1462 Type 2 diabetic patients and 4931 NGT subjects. We also examined the potential impact of the class III allele in genotype-quantitative trait studies in three Danish study populations containing (i) 358 young healthy subjects; (ii) 4444 middle-aged NGT subjects, 490 subjects with IFG and 678 subjects with IGT; and (iii) 221 NGT subjects, of whom one parent had Type 2 diabetes.


There was no difference in frequency of the class III allele or in genotype distribution between the 1462 Type 2 diabetic patients and the 4931 NGT subjects. Among the 358 young subjects the class III/III carriers had significantly reduced post-IVGTT acute serum insulin and C-peptide responses (p=0.04 and 0.03 respectively). However, among the 4444 middle-aged subjects we failed to demonstrate any association between the class III allele and post-OGTT serum insulin and C-peptide levels.


The class III allele of the INS-VNTR does not confer susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes or consistent alterations in glucose-induced insulin release in the examined populations, which consisted of Danish Caucasians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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