, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp 301-306

Sib pair linkage analysis of renin gene haplotypes in human essential hypertension

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Although essential arterial hypertension is believed to have a strong genetic predisposition, the gene(s) responsible are unknown. The mechanisms underlying the regulation of blood pressure and experimental studies place the renin gene among the main candidate genes that need to be tested in humans. We tested the hypothesis of a linkage between the renin gene and essential hypertension using the affected sib pair method. Siblings (133 subjects, 52.1±10.9 years) from 57 families were selected for sustained hypertension (160.7 ± 22.9/99.5 ± 12.8 mmHg with 80% of patients under antihypertensive treatment), of early onset (40.7 ± 12.0 years), in the absence of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and secondary hypertension. Eight renin haplotypes were generated from three diallelic renin restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) (TaqI, Hinfi, HindIII) located throughout the renin gene. The allelic concordance between the sib pairs was analyzed by identity by state relationships for 98 sib pairs (41 for 41 couples, 39 for 13 trios, 18 for 3 quartets). Allelic frequencies in the 57 hypertensive probands were similar to those observed among 102 hypertensive subjects studied previously. Six of eight possible haplotypes were observed, the informativity of the marker corresponded to 70% of heterozygosity. Allelic concordance for all sib pairs according to sibship size was not significantly different from that expected under the hypothesis of no linkage (t = 0.52, P = 0.15) reflecting only a small excess of renin alleles shared by the hypertensive sibs (1.44 ± 0.6 vs 1.36 ± 0.6). Likewise the linkage hypothesis was unsupported by weighted estimates to correct for possible bias due to large sibship size. Thus, the sib pair analysis suggests that the renin gene does not have a frequent role in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension; further more powerful linkage studies or other approaches will be needed to detect contributions at the renin locus to the heritability of essential hypertension.