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Vet J. 2013 Feb;195(2):139-47. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.11.013. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Genetics of canine diabetes mellitus: are the diabetes susceptibility genes identified in humans involved in breed susceptibility to diabetes mellitus in dogs?

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Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK.


Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrinopathy in companion animals, characterised by hyperglycaemia, glycosuria and weight loss, resulting from an absolute or relative deficiency in the pancreatic hormone insulin. There are breed differences in susceptibility to diabetes mellitus in dogs, with the Samoyed breed being overrepresented, while Boxers are relatively absent in the UK population of diabetic dogs, suggesting that genetic factors play an important role in determining susceptibility to the disease. A number of genes, linked with susceptibility to diabetes mellitus in humans, are associated with an increased risk of diabetes mellitus in dogs, some of which appear to be relatively breed-specific. Diabetes mellitus in dogs has been associated with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II genes (dog leucocyte antigen; DLA), with similar haplotypes and genotypes being identified in the most susceptible breeds. A region containing a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) and several polymorphisms have been identified in the canine insulin gene, with some alleles associated with susceptibility or resistance to diabetes mellitus in a breed-specific manner. Polymorphisms in the canine CTLA4 promoter and in other immune response genes are associated with susceptibility to diabetes mellitus in a number of pedigree breeds. Genome wide association studies are currently underway that should shed further light on the genetic factors responsible for the breed profile seen in the diabetic dog population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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