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Heredity (Edinb). 2008 Apr;100(4):382-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.hdy.6801089. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

Genetics of variation in adiponectin in pedigreed baboons: evidence for pleiotropic effects on adipocyte volume and serum adiponectin.

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Department of Genetics at Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, TX 78245, USA.


To detect and localize the effects of genes influencing variation in adiponectin mRNA and protein levels, we conducted statistical genetic analyses of circulating concentrations of adiponectin and adiponectin (ADIPOQ) mRNA expression in omental adipose tissue in adult, pedigreed baboons (Papio anubis). An omental adipose tissue biopsy and blood sample were collected from 427 baboons from the colony at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, TX. Total RNA was isolated from adipose tissue and adiponectin mRNA levels were assayed by real-time, quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR. Adiponectin, insulin, glucose, cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins and triglycerides were measured in fasting serum. Quantitative genetic analyses were conducted for adiponectin mRNA and serum protein using a maximum likelihood-based variance decomposition approach. A genome-wide linkage analysis was conducted using adiponectin mRNA and protein levels as phenotypes. Significant heritability was estimated for ADIPOQ mRNA levels (h2=0.19+/-0.07, P=0.01) and protein levels (h2=0.28+/-0.14, P=0.003). Genetic correlations were found between adiponectin protein and body weight (rho(G)=-0.51, P=0.03), cell volume (rho(G)=-0.73, P=0.04), serum triglycerides (rho(G)=-0.67, P=0.03), and between adiponectin mRNA and glucose (rho(G)=0.93, P<0.01). A logarithm of odds score of 2.9 was found for ADIPOQ mRNA levels on baboon chromosome 4p, which is orthologous to human 6p21. There is a significant genetic component affecting variation in the analyzed traits, and common genes may be influencing adiponectin expression, adipocyte volume, body weight and circulating triglycerides. The region on 6p21 has been linked to diabetes-related phenotypes in human studies.

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