Recent studies reported a marked inverse effect of smoking on serum levels of leptin (an adipocyte derived protein), offering a possible explanation for variation in body weight between smokers and non-smokers. The goal of this study was to examine the genetic architecture of the response to smoking in leptin levels using data from the San Antonio Family Heart Study. We employed a variance decomposition analysis using maximum likelihood methods to model genotype by smoking interactions for leptin levels, examined the impact of the exclusion of smokers in a subsequent linkage analysis, and incorporated the QTL identified in the linkage analysis in a model of genotype by smoking interaction. We found significant evidence (P = 0.001) for a genotype by smoking status interaction for serum leptin levels. In the subsequent linkage analysis with smokers excluded, we obtained a maximum LOD score of 3.1 (P = 0.00005) near D8S1102. Using this QTL in a model of genotype by smoking status interaction, we identified significant evidence for an interaction at this specific locus (P = 0.04). Given these results, we hypothesize that a quantitative trait locus in this vicinity of chromosome g may have a differential effect on the expression of leptin in smokers versus non-smokers.
- Genotype-environment interaction
- Mexican Americans
- Variance component analysis
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