First genome-wide association study investigating blood pressure and renal traits in domestic cats

Sci Rep. 2022 Feb 3;12(1):1899. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-05494-3.


Hypertension (HTN) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are common in ageing cats. In humans, blood pressure (BP) and renal function are complex heritable traits. We performed the first feline genome-wide association study (GWAS) of quantitative traits systolic BP and creatinine and binary outcomes HTN and CKD, testing 1022 domestic cats with a discovery, replication and meta-analysis design. No variants reached experimental significance level in the discovery stage for any phenotype. Follow up of the top 9 variants for creatinine and 5 for systolic BP, one SNP reached experimental-wide significance for association with creatinine in the combined meta-analysis (chrD1.10258177; P = 1.34 × 10-6). Exploratory genetic risk score (GRS) analyses were performed. Within the discovery sample, GRS of top SNPs from the BP and creatinine GWAS show strong association with HTN and CKD but did not validate in independent replication samples. A GRS including SNPs corresponding to human CKD genes was not significant in an independent subset of cats. Gene-set enrichment and pathway-based analysis (GSEA) was performed for both quantitative phenotypes, with 30 enriched pathways with creatinine. Our results support the utility of GWASs and GSEA for genetic discovery of complex traits in cats, with the caveat of our findings requiring validation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / genetics*
  • Cat Diseases / genetics*
  • Cat Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cats / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / genetics*
  • Hypertension / genetics
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertension / veterinary*
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Multifactorial Inheritance
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / genetics
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / veterinary*