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1.  Identification of a QTL for adipocyte volume and of shared genetic effects between adipocyte volume with aspartate aminotransferase 
Biochemical genetics  2010;48(5-6):538-547.
Plasma levels of Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), a liver enzyme, are elevated in patients with visceral obesity. The purpose of this study was to examine if adipocyte volume is under the influence of genetic factors and to evaluate its genetic correlations with AST. Fasting plasma of 374 pedigreed baboons from the Southwest National Primate Research Center at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, TX were assayed for AST. Adipocyte volume was measured using biopsies of omental adipose tissue. Adipocyte volume, body weight and plasma AST were heritable. Genetic correlations between the measured adiposity - related phenotypes and AST were significant. A QTL (LOD score of 3.2) for adipocyte volume was identified on the baboon homologue of human chromosome 6 near marker D6S1028. These results suggest that omental adipocyte volume is under genetic regulation and that shared genetic factors influence adiposity associated traits and AST.
PMCID: PMC2869397  PMID: 20390338
non-alcholic fatty liver disease; obesity; adipocyte size; genome scan; QTL; aspartate aminotransferase
2.  QTLs regulating plasma levels of GGT and ALB and their genetic correlations with cardiovascular risk factors 
γ glutamyl transferase (GGT) and albumin (ALB) are two markers of liver function. These two proteins have been associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease. The objective of this study was to explore the genetic factors that influence variation in the plasma levels of GGT and ALB and to evaluate their genetic correlations with cardiovascular risk factors. Baboons from the Southwest National Primate Research Center at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, TX were used as an animal model. The baboons were fed a standard monkey chow diet ad libitum. Fasting plasma concentrations of GGT, ALB, triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were measured in 350 pedigreed adult baboons by standard assay procedures. A maximum likelihood based variance decomposition approach implemented in the computer program SOLAR was used to conduct genetic analyses. The heritabilities of GGT (h2=0.55; p< 0.0001) and ALB (h2=0.42; p< 0.01) were significant. No statistically significant associations were found between GGT and the cardiovascular related phenotypes. Genetic correlations between ALB and total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides were significant. A QTL (LOD = 2.8) for GGT plasma levels was identified on the baboon homologue of human chromosome 22 between markers D22S304 and D22S280. A QTL (LOD =2.3) near marker D10S1432 was detected on the baboon homologue of human chromosome 10 for ALB. These results imply that variations in the plasma levels of GGT and ALB are under significant genetic regulation and that a common genetic component influences ALB and cardiovascular risk factor phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC2832911  PMID: 19934372
NAFLD; obesity; genome scan; atherosclerosis; oxidative stress
4.  Characterization of Nanoporous Surfaces as Templates for Drug Delivery Devices 
The AAPS Journal  2009;11(4):758-761.
PMCID: PMC2782086  PMID: 19876743
cyanoacrylate; drug delivery; methyl orange; nanopores; volume calculation
5.  Association of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 with adipocyte number, insulin resistance and liver function markers 
Journal of medical primatology  2009;38(6):418-424.
Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) is an inflammatory chemokine known to induce adipocyte dedifferentiation and insulin resistance. Inflammation, insulin resistance, and obesity have been implicated in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Fasting plasma from 43 baboons were assayed for MCP-1, insulin, glucose, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Adipocyte number and volume were measured via biopsies of omental adipose tissue. The homeostatic model assessment method (HOMA) was used to estimate systemic insulin resistance.
Sex and age adjusted correlations were significant for MCP-1 with adipocyte number (r = −0.42; P = 0.01), adipocyte volume (r = 0.38; P = 0.02), HOMA (r = 0.45; P = 0.004), ALT (r = 0.46; P = 0.03) and AST (r = 0.45; P = 0.03).
These results suggest that MCP-1 is related with adipocyte dedifferentiation and systemic insulin resistance, thereby potentially contributing to the development of NAFLD.
PMCID: PMC2783443  PMID: 19702660
adipocyte number; adipocyte volume; AST and ALT; insulin resistance; liver function marker; MCP-1; NAFLD

Results 1-5 (5)