The Family Investigation of Nephropathy and Diabetes (FIND) is a multicenter study designed to identify genetic determinants of diabetic kidney disease. FIND is conducted in eleven centers and in many ethnic groups throughout the United States. Two different strategies are used to localize genes predisposing to kidney disease: a family-based genetic linkage/association study and a case-control study that uses admixture linkage disequilibrium. The center based at the Phoenix office of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK-Phoenix) conducts family-based linkage/association studies among American Indian populations in the southwestern United States, and in the indigenous Micronesian populations of the Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).
Participants (index cases) with diabetes and kidney disease are recruited, and their parents and siblings are also invited to participate. Members of target populations who are not related to index cases are also included and offered screening for diabetes and kidney disease; this will facilitate association studies. Genetic material from these participants is used to genotype markers throughout the genome. Linkage and association analyses are conducted to identify particular chromosomal regions containing genes that influence susceptibility to diabetic kidney disease. Linkage and association analyses are also used to identify genes influencing traits related to diabetic kidney disease, such as serum creatinine, urinary protein excretion, plasma glucose levels, blood pressure and blood lipid levels. Genome-wide and candidate gene association studies are also conducted. Regions that show evidence for linkage or association are then examined in more detail, with both genetic linkage and association studies, to attempt to identify the specific genes that influence diabetic kidney disease, or related traits.
The identification of genes that influence susceptibility to diabetic kidney disease will lead to a better understanding of how kidney disease develops. In the long run, this may lead to improved treatment and prevention of diabetic kidney disease.
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