Genetic admixture, adipocytokines, and adiposity in Black Americans: the Health, Aging, and Body Composition study

Hum Genet. 2007 Jun;121(5):615-24. doi: 10.1007/s00439-007-0353-z. Epub 2007 Mar 28.


Adipocytokines are a subset of cytokines produced by adipose tissue and are associated with risk of type II diabetes and atherosclerosis. Levels of adipocytokines differ between Black and White Americans, even after adjustment for differences in adiposity, diseases associated with adipocytokines including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and general socioeconomic status indicators such as income. We used a series of ancestry informative markers to estimate genetic ancestry in a population-based study of older Black Americans, and examined the association between genetic ancestry and adipocytokines and soluble receptors to help determine which of these may be most amenable to admixture mapping. We typed 35 ancestry informative markers in 1,241 self-reported Black Americans with available DNA from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) study with available DNA and used a maximum likelihood approach to estimate percent European ancestry. We used linear regression models to determine the association between these adipocytokines and percent ancestry, and staged models to examine whether adiposity or other measures affected the associations of genetic ancestry and adipocytokines. Mean European ancestry was 22.3+/-15.9%. In multivariate adjusted models, the strongest associations observed were between higher European ancestry and interleukin-6 soluble receptor (IL-6 SR), C-reactive protein (CRP), and adiponectin levels, with interleukin-2 soluble receptor (IL-2 SR) and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor II (TNF-alpha SR II) also showing more modest but significant associations. The association with adiponectin became stronger after adjustment for adiposity. These novel findings suggest that admixture mapping may identify genetic factors influencing the levels of IL-6 SR, CRP, IL-2 SR, and adiponectin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • African Americans / genetics*
  • Aged
  • Aging / genetics*
  • Body Composition / genetics*
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Male


  • Cytokines
  • Genetic Markers