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Hypertension. 1998 Feb;31(2):627-31.

Diabetic nephropathy is associated with AGT polymorphism T235: results of a family-based study.

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Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Program for Population Genetics, Boston, MA 02115-6096, USA.


Diabetic nephropathy is a serious and frequent complication of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) that has a strong genetic component. Several case-control studies have reported conflicting results with regard to the role of angiotensinogen gene polymorphisms, specifically the M235T T allele, in the development of diabetic nephropathy. The primary limitation of the case-control approach is that bias may be introduced by unrecognized differences in the populations selected for cases and control subjects. In contrast, family-based approaches, such as the transmission/disequilibrium test, assess whether a particular variant, or allele, is transmitted preferentially from a parent having a single copy of that allele. Thus each family provides its own control, thereby eliminating spurious results caused by mismatched population samples. To take advantage of this study design for further investigation of M235T, we collected from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston 148 IDDM patients with diabetic nephropathy, 62 nephropathy-free patients with long-duration IDDM, and, very importantly, parents of all these individuals. We found that among males (but not females) the T allele of the M235T polymorphism was transmitted preferentially to those with nephropathy compared with IDDM patients without nephropathy (P=.05). Moreover, the T allele was transmitted preferentially to patients with the most severe manifestation of nephropathy, end-stage renal disease (P=.04). In conclusion, results obtained in our family-based study support a role of the angiotensinogen gene M235T polymorphism, and specifically the T allele, in the development of diabetic nephropathy in IDDM.

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