Genetics of diabetes complications.

Research paper by Sami S Alkayyali, Valeriya V Lyssenko

Indexed on: 30 Aug '14Published on: 30 Aug '14Published in: Mammalian Genome


Chronic hyperglycemia and duration of diabetes are the major risk factors associated with development of micro- and macrovascular complications of diabetes. Although it is believed that hyperglycemia induces damage to the particular cell subtypes, e.g., mesangial cells in the renal glomerulus, capillary endothelial cells in the retina, and neurons and Schwann cells in peripheral nerves, the exact mechanisms underlying these damaging defects are not yet well understood. Clustering of micro- and macrovascular complications in families of patients with diabetes suggests a strong genetic susceptibility. However, until now only a handful number of genetic variants were reported to be associated with either nephropathy (ACE, ELMO1, FRMD3, and AKR1B1) or retinopathy (VEGF, AKR1B1, and EPO), and only a few studies were carried out for genetic susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases (ADIPOQ, GLUL) in patients with diabetes. It is, therefore, obvious that the accumulation of more data from larger studies and better phenotypically characterized cohorts is needed to facilitate genetic discoveries and unravel novel insights into the pathogenesis of diabetic complications.