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Identified loci contributing to metabolic phenotypes of hypertension


Canadian and US researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin studied 120 families in the isolated Saguenay-Lac St. Jean region in Quebec for genetic markers for hypertension on their chromosomes.

Researchers found 46 significant chromosomal areas associated with hypertension and cardiovascular and metabolic conditions..

Cowley's studies of inbred strains of rats have provided important clues for identifying genes of high blood pressure in humans.
Since rats contain 95 percent of the same genes as humans, they provide the ability to study the relationships of genes to allow the complex biological systems that are involved in the regulation of blood pressure.

The research focused on 120 French-Canadian families - 900 individuals many of whom are from families who are direct descendants of the original settlers who came to Quebec in the 17th century.
Their genealogical records from 1680 to the present have been computerized and are available to the researchers through the systematic effort of Gérard Bouchard and his team at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi ( UQAC ).
Together, Pavel Hamet at Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, and Bouchard have developed a computerized demographic and genealogical register ( the BALSAC Database ) covering the majority of the Québec population from the 17th through the 20th century.

DNA samples from the first 500 recruited subjects from 97 families were genotyped at the Whitehead Institute in Boston.

A total of 46 locations within the human genome were identified containing genes that influence blood pressure, obesity, distribution of body fat, and metabolic traits related to blood lipids, and hormones that control blood glucose such as insulin.
Genes determining several or more of these traits, especially those of particular importance in hypertension and obesity, were clustered on four chromosomes.

Source: American Journal of Human Genetics, 2005


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