Risk of advanced diabetic nephropathy in type 1 diabetes is associated with endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene polymorphism.
Background: Polymorphisms in the endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene (eNOS) may be implicated in the development of nephropathy in patients with type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).
Methods: Three groups of IDDM patients were selected to study this hypothesis: cases with advanced diabetic nephropathy (N = 78), cases with overt proteinuria but normal serum creatinine (N = 74), and controls with normoalbuminuria despite 15 years of diabetes (N = 195). Parents of 132 cases and 53 controls were also examined and were used for the transmission disequilibrium test, a family-based study design to test association.
Results: We examined four eNOS polymorphisms, and two were associated with diabetic nephropathy in the case-control comparisons: a T to C substitution in the promoter at position -786 and the a-deletion/b-insertion in intron 4. For the former, the risk of developing advanced nephropathy was higher for C allele homozygotes than for the other two genotypes (odds ratio 2.8, 95% CI, 1.4 to 5.6). For the latter polymorphism, it was the a-deletion carriers that had the higher risk (odds ratio 2.3, 95% CI, 1.3 to 4.0) in comparison with noncarriers. Both polymorphisms were analyzed together as haplotypes in a family-based study using the transmission disequilibrium test. The C/a-deletion haplotype was transmitted from heterozygous parents to cases with advanced diabetic nephropathy with a significantly higher frequency than expected (P = 0.004).
Conclusion: The findings of the case-control and family-based studies demonstrate clearly that DNA sequence differences in eNOS influence the risk of advanced nephropathy in type 1 diabetes.