Availability of type II diabetic families for detection of diabetes susceptibility genes.
Cook JT., Page RC., O'Rahilly S., Levy J., Holman R., Barrow B., Hattersley AT., Shaw AG., Wainscoat JS., Turner RC.
Type II diabetes is a familial disorder, as evidenced by the increased prevalence in monozygotic cotwins and first-degree relatives of affected subjects; however, its genetic etiology is largely unknown. Well-characterized pedigrees are an essential resource for the study of susceptibility genes for type II diabetes. This study describes a 5-yr search for type II diabetic families in Oxfordshire, U.K. We interviewed 950 type II diabetic subjects concerning the availability of first-degree relatives; 127 Caucasian families ascertained through a proband with type II diabetes were studied, and 589 first-degree relatives were characterized. Three large pedigrees with maturity-onset diabetes of the young, and 8 multiplex multigenerational type II diabetic pedigrees were identified. We identified 12 sib-pairs in which both siblings had type II diabetes; however, only 7 sib-pairs had both parents alive, and 2 of these had both parents affected. If one also considers one sib having diabetes and one sib having glucose intolerance as being an affected sib-pair, we identified 30 sib-pairs of which 7 had both parents affected and probably had bilineal inheritance. We identified 76 complete nuclear families with both parents and offspring available for study, but only 6 were of optimal structure for linkage analysis. In conclusion, multiplex pedigrees and type II diabetic sib-pairs with living parents are uncommon, and their ascertainment requires a substantial investment of resources. Large-scale collaborative multicenter initiatives would be needed to collect a large resource of family material for the study of susceptibility genes for type II diabetes.