The canine POMC gene, obesity in Labrador retrievers and susceptibility to Diabetes mellitus

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Davison, LJ ; Holder, A ; Catchpole, B ; O'Callaghan, C (2017)
  • Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
  • Journal: Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, volume 31, issue 2, pages 343-348 (issn: 0891-6640, eissn: 1939-1676)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC5354034, doi: 10.1111/jvim.14636
  • Subject: Standard Article | Genetics | Pancreas | Standard Articles | SMALL ANIMAL | Polymerase chain reaction | Endocrinology

<strong>Background</strong> Diabetes mellitus (DM) in dogs is a common endocrinopathy with a complex genetic architecture. Disease susceptibility in several breeds is associated with polymorphisms in immune response genes, but in the Labrador retriever breed, no genetic associations with DM have been identified. A deletion in the pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene in Labrador retrievers is associated with increased appetite and risk of obesity. <strong>Hypothesis/Objectives</strong> To characterize the POMC deletion in Labrador retrievers, to develop a simple genetic test for this mutation, and to test the hypothesis that the POMC gene deletion is associated with an increased risk of DM in this breed. <strong>Animals</strong> Sixty-one non-diabetic Labrador retrievers aged >6 years and 57 Labrador retrievers with DM. <strong>Methods</strong> Case–control genotyping study to compare the frequency of the POMC deletion in dogs with and without DM. After polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing to characterize the mutation, a PCR-based test was developed and validated using 2 different restriction fragment length polymorphism assays. <strong>Results</strong> A 14-base-pair deletion was confirmed and localized to exon 3 of the canine POMC gene. A PCR-based test for the deletion was successfully developed. There was no association between the presence of the POMC deletion mutation and DM in this population of Labrador retriever dogs (P = .31). <strong>Conclusions and Clinical Importance</strong> This study adds to the existing scientific literature indicating that there is little evidence for a direct link between obesity and DM in dogs.
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