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Common genetic variation in the melatonin receptor 1B gene (MTNR1B) is associated with decreased early-phase insulin response

Lookup NU author(s): Laura Pascoe, Professor Mark Walker


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We investigated whether variation in MTNR1B, which was recently identified as a common genetic determinant of fasting glucose levels in healthy, diabetes-free individuals, is associated with measures of beta cell function and whole-body insulin sensitivity. We studied 1,276 healthy individuals of European ancestry at 19 centres of the Relationship between Insulin Sensitivity and Cardiovascular disease (RISC) study. Whole-body insulin sensitivity was assessed by euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp and indices of beta cell function were derived from a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (including 30 min insulin response and glucose sensitivity). We studied rs10830963 in MTNR1B using additive genetic models, adjusting for age, sex and recruitment centre. The minor (G) allele of rs10830963 in MTNR1B (frequency 0.30 in HapMap Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme [Utah residents with northern and western European ancestry] [CEU]; 0.29 in RISC participants) was associated with higher levels of fasting plasma glucose (standardised beta [95% CI] 0.17 [0.085, 0.25] per G allele, p = 5.8 x 10(-5)), consistent with recent observations. In addition, the G-allele was significantly associated with lower early insulin response (-0.19 [-0.28, -0.10], p = 1.7 x 10(-5)), as well as with decreased beta cell glucose sensitivity (-0.11 [-0.20, -0.027], p = 0.010). No associations were observed with clamp-assessed insulin sensitivity (p = 0.15) or different measures of body size (p > 0.7 for all). Genetic variation in MTNR1B is associated with defective early insulin response and decreased beta cell glucose sensitivity, which may contribute to the higher glucose levels of non-diabetic individuals carrying the minor G allele of rs10830963 in MTNR1B.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Langenberg C, Pascoe L, Mari A, Tura A, Laakso M, Frayling TM, Barroso I, Loos RJF, Wareham NJ, Walker M, RISC Consortium

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Diabetologia

Year: 2009

Volume: 52

Issue: 8

Pages: 1537-1542

ISSN (print): 0012-186X

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0428

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00125-009-1392-x


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Funder referenceFunder name
Unilever UK
077016/Z/05/ZWellcome Trust
QLG1-CT-2001-01252European Union