Background: Atrial natriuretic peptide is involved in blood pressure regulation via its vasodilating and natriuretic actions. Since diabetic nephropathy and hypertension are closely related, ANP is a reasonable candidate gene for diabetic nephropathy (DN).
Methods: We genotyped 410 patients with type I diabetes (without DN n = 307; with DN n = 103) and 658 patients with type II diabetes (without DN n = 464; with DN n = 194). In the patients the duration of diabetes was at least 10 years. Diabetic nephropathy was defined as urinary albumin excretion of > or = 30 mg/24 h. The HpaII polymorphism in intron 2 of the ANP gene was determined using PCR amplification followed by restriction digest. Alleles were separated on agarose gels stained with ethidium bromide.
Results: We compared genotype distribution and allele frequencies between patients with and without nephropathy. No significant difference was observed either in type I (allele frequency without DN H1, 0.02/H2, 0.98 vs with DN H1, 0.05/H2, 0.95; P = 0.132) or in type II diabetes (allele frequency without DN H1, 0.04/H2, 0.96 vs with DN H1, 0.05/H2, 0.95; P = 0.551).
Conclusions: The polymorphism in the gene for the atrial natriuretic peptide does not seem to play a major role in the development of diabetic nephropathy in either type I or in type II diabetes.