Identification of a QTL for adipocyte volume and of shared genetic effects with aspartate aminotransferase

Biochem Genet. 2010 Jun;48(5-6):538-47. doi: 10.1007/s10528-010-9337-0.


Plasma levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), a liver enzyme, are elevated in patients with visceral obesity. This study examined whether adipocyte volume is under the influence of genetic factors and evaluated its genetic correlations with AST. Fasting plasma levels of 344 pedigreed baboons from the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, TX, USA, were assayed for AST. Adipocyte volume was measured using biopsies of omental adipose tissue. Adipocyte volume, body weight, and plasma AST were heritable. Genetic correlations between the measured adiposity-related phenotypes and AST were significant. A quantitative trait locus (LOD score 3.2) for adipocyte volume was identified on the baboon homolog of human chromosome 6 near marker D6S1028. These results suggest that omental adipocyte volume is under genetic regulation and that shared genetic factors influence adiposity-associated traits and AST.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology*
  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / genetics*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Size*
  • Female
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / enzymology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Papio
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / genetics*


  • Biomarkers
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases