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News Article

Genome-wide association study investigates blood pressure and kidney disease in cats


Findings pave the way to generating important information about the development of the complex conditions, chronic kidney disease and hypertension

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has conducted the first genome wide association study (GWAS) specifically evaluating renal function and blood pressure traits in domestic cats. The study is published in Scientific Reports.

The research team was led by principal investigator at the RVC, Dr Rosanne Jepson, alongside joint first author from Queen Mary University of London, Dr Helen Warren, and Professor Patricia Munroe. The team examined the archives of 1,022 domestic cats seen at both the RVC’s Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital and Bow PDSA Pet Hospital since 1992, specifically looking for genetic associations with chronic kidney disease and hypertension using a GWAS approach.

The GWAS approach used a special feline array to characterise over 63,000 genetic differences across the feline genome. The team examined the influence of different genes on these complex disease traits which may point to new ways of treatment as the pathways and proteins controlled by these genes can indicate novel mechanisms for disease development.

The study also highlighted the potential of using this approach to investigate complex disease conditions in the future. This study method has historically been used for rarer and breed-specific conditions where single genetic mutations might be occurring. However, the findings show it could now be used to generate new and important information about common and complex diseases which are likely to be the result of genetic, lifestyle and environmental risks.

Article: Jepson, R. E., Warren, H., Wallace, M. D., Syme, H. M., Elliott, J., Munroe, P. B. (2022). First genome-wide association study investigating blood pressure and renal traits in domestic cats. Scientific Reports, 12, 1899, doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-05494-3

Article details

  • Date
  • 01 March 2022
  • Source
  • Royal Veterinary College
  • Subject(s)
  • Dogs, Cats, and other Companion Animals