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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Segregation of urine calcium excretion in families ascertained for nephrolithiasis: evidence for a major gene.

BACKGROUND: The quantitative genetics of urine calcium excretion has not been established. It is a trait of interest because hypercalciuria is commonly found in subjects with nephrolithiasis. The aim of this study was to model the segregation of this trait in a sample of French-Canadian families ascertained through a stone former. METHODS: Major gene, polygenic, and mixed models were fit to 24-hour urine calcium excretion from 567 individuals in 221 nuclear families, while simultaneously taking into account gender, age at examination, body mass index (BMI), and the use of thiazide drugs. The nuclear families were extracted from 154 pedigrees, some of which were four generations, with at least two siblings with a history of calcium stones. RESULTS: All the proposed genetic models fit the data significantly better than the null model. The most parsimonious model was the mixed codominant/polygenic model but it was statistically indistinguishable from the single-gene codominant model. In both of these models the heritability attributable to the major gene was estimated to be 0.58. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that a major gene with a relatively large effect on variation in urine calcium excretion is segregating in French-Canadian families with stone formers. This implies that the power of quantitative trait segregation analysis of urine calcium excretion may be increased in these families, and results indicate that it should be feasible to genetically map the quantitative trait locus.[1]


  1. Segregation of urine calcium excretion in families ascertained for nephrolithiasis: evidence for a major gene. Loredo-Osti, J.C., Roslin, N.M., Tessier, J., Fujiwara, T.M., Morgan, K., Bonnardeaux, A. Kidney Int. (2005) [Pubmed]
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