610: Evaluation of Genetic Markers for Diabetes Mellitus in Samoyed and Australian Terrier Dogs

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $96,120
Dr. Rebecka S. Hess, DVM, University of Pennsylvania
April 1, 2006 - March 31, 2010
Sponsor(s): American Shih Tzu Club, Inc., Bulldog Club of America Charitable Health Fund, Inc., Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, Dr. William Newman, Mastiff Club of America
Breed(s): Australian Terrier, Samoyed
Research Program Area: Prevention

Project Summary

The study of genetic markers for diabetes mellitus in Samoyeds and Australian Terriers has progressed. The researchers pursued their preliminary association of a DNA difference between diabetic and non-diabetic Australian Terriers and Samoyeds and continued with the analysis of our preliminary study of DNA variation across the entire genome. The National and Regional Breed Clubs have been instrumental in getting the word out, in regard to sample collection. They have reached their goal of collecting blood samples from more than 100 diabetic dogs (50 of each Samoyeds and Australian Terriers), and more than 200 non-diabetic dogs (100 each for Australian Terriers and Samoyeds). The investigators thank the participating clubs and the hundreds of dog owners that have helped make this project possible. Please contact Dr. Hess (rhess@vet.upenn.edu) if your dog donated blood for the study while it was not diabetic and has since become diabetic. The project's WGA results are very intriguing, and indicate that the underlying basis of Type I diabetes, while not identical in both breed, may have some common etiology as well. These findings emphasize the power of within breed studies. In the future, we would like to perform SNP chip analysis on additional samples, with follow-up on regions of highest statistical (and genome wide) significance. The insulin gene in Australian terriers deserves more study, with particular attention to the possibility of long-range cis regulatory regions. Also, the DLA region could be more thoroughly explored, particularly in collaboration with Dr. Lorna Kennedy, who is studying this region in depth.

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