Pleiotropic effects of genes for insulin resistance on adiposity in baboons

Guowen Cai, Shelley A. Cole, M. Elizabeth Tejero, John M. Proffitt, Jeanne H. Freeland-Graves, John Blangero, Anthony G. Comuzzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: Previous research has suggested a genetic contribution to the development of insulin resistance and obesity. We hypothesized that the same genes influencing insulin resistance might also contribute to the variation in adiposity. Research Methods and Procedures: A total of 601 (200 male, 401 female) adult baboons (Papio hamadryas) from nine families with pedigrees ranging in size from 43 to 121 were used in this study. Plasma insulin, glucose, C-peptide, and adiponectin were analyzed, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA IR) was calculated. Fat biopsies were collected from omental fat tissue, and triglyceride concentration per gram of fat tissue was determined. Body weight and length were measured, and BMI was derived. Univariate and bivariate quantitative genetic analyses were performed using SOLAR. Results: Insulin, glucose, C-peptide, and adiponectin levels, HOMA IR, triglyceride concentration of fat tissue, body weight, and BMI were all found to be significantly heritable, with heritabilities ranging from 0.15 to 0.80. Positive genetic correlations (rGs) were observed for HOMAIR with C-peptide (rG = 0.88 ± 0.10, p = 0.01), triglyceride concentration in fat tissue (rG = 0.86 ± 0.33, p = 0.02), weight (rG = 0.50 ± 0.20, p = 0.03), and BMI (rG = 0.64 ± 0.22, p = 0.02). Discussion: These results suggest that a set of genes contributing to insulin resistance also influence general and central adiposity phenotypes. Further genetic research in a larger sample size is needed to identify the common genes that constitute the genetic basis for the development of insulin resistance and obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1766-1772
Number of pages7
JournalObesity Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Genetic
  • Heritabilities
  • Insulin resistance
  • Pleiotropy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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