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24-10-2011 | Diabetes | Article

Chemokine gene variant predicts risk for diabetes


Free abstract

MedWire News: A polymorphism in the monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) gene may be a risk factor for diabetes in Caucasians, report researchers.

MCP-1 is a chemokine that plays an important role in obesity and insulin resistance and has been suggested as a critical molecule in the pathogenesis of diabetes.

"The -2518A/G polymorphism in the MCP-1 gene may be significantly associated with decreased risk for diabetes in Caucasians," write the investigators.

They say their study is the first meta-analysis conducted to explore the association.

Led by Hong Fan (Sichuan University, China), the team searched the PubMed, Embase, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and Wanfang databases and identified 10 case-control studies evaluating the association between the -2518A/G polymorphism in the MCP-1 gene and diabetes risk.

Overall, the studies included 2294 cases with diabetes mellitus and 3773 controls, with seven of the studies based on Asian populations and three based on Europeans.

"We minimized the likelihood of bias by creating a detailed protocol before initiating our study, by performing meticulous search for publications, and by using explicit methods for publications selection, data extraction, and data analysis," say the researchers.

As reported in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, the authors found that the variant G allele was not significantly associated with risk for diabetes across the study populations overall.

Carriers of the G allele had an odds ratio (OR) of 0.86 for diabetes risk, compared with non-carriers.

However, subgroup analysis by ethnicity revealed that variation of the G allele was significantly associated with decreased risk for diabetes among Caucasians, at an OR of 0.64.

"We found a significant association between this polymorphism with diabetes risk in Caucasians but not in Asians, suggesting a possible role of ethnic differences in genetic backgrounds and the environment they lived in," write Fan et al.

"However, given the small number of individuals recruited in this meta-analysis, our results require larger cohorts for confirmation," concludes the team.

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By Sally Robertson