An elevated level of erythrocyte sodium-lithium (Na-Li) countertransport has been suggested as a predictor of predisposition to essential hypertension. In order to evaluate whether a single genetic or environmental factor with large effects explains the mixture of distributions in Na-Li countertransport in the general population, complex segregation analyses were conducted by using 1,273 individuals more than age 20 years from 276 pedigrees selected without respect to disease risk factors or health status. Either a single genetic locus or a single environmental factor with large gender-specific effects explained the mixture of distributions for Na-Li countertransport in this sample equally well. In the subsample of pedigrees supporting a single-locus etiology, the single genetic locus explained 29.0% of the variability in adjusted Na-Li countertransport in males and 16.6% of that in females. In a subsample of pedigrees supporting an environmental factor etiology, the environmental factor explained 35.2% of the adjusted Na-Li countertransport in males and 20.5% of that in females. These results suggest that there are at least two different explanations for the mixture of distributions in Na-Li countertransport in the general population. Attempts to relate genetic variation in Na-Li countertransport to risk of essential hypertension must consider that the factor with large phenotypic effects on this trait is gender specific and may not be a single major locus in all pedigrees.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||American journal of human genetics|
|State||Published - 1991|
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