To investigate the influence of the mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) genotype on the clinical features of diabetes, 212 Japanese patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) (154 males and 58 females aged 17-83 years; mean age 58.2 years) were investigated. Genotyping of ALDH2 was performed by the polymerase chain reaction - restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method. The pattern of inheritance of diabetes and various clinical parameters was compared between active and inactive ALDH2 groups. Of the 212 subjects, 120 had active ALDH2 and 92 had inactive ALDH2. The percentage of patients with a diabetic mother was higher in the inactive ALDH2 group (32.6 %) than in the active ALDH2 group (19.2 %) (p < 0.05). The prevalence of proliferative retinopathy was lower in the inactive ALDH2 group than in the active ALDH2 group (p < 0.05). However, other clinical parameters showed no difference. We conclude that maternal inheritance of diabetes was common in the inactive ALDH2 group. The finding is suggestive of a relationship between alcohol intolerance and inheritance of diabetes. We speculate that the interaction between mitochondrial DNA and ALDH2 inactivity causes an increase of mitochondrial DNA mutations or deletions, thereby inducing the maternal inheritance of diabetes. The relationship of the ALDH2 genotype with proliferative retinopathy is interesting, because it resembles that of chlorpropamide alcohol flushing with severe diabetic retinopathy. The interaction of aldehyde dehydrogenase isoenzymes might have an aetiological role, since aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 plays an important part in oxidation of retinal to retinoic acid. However, the number of affected patients with proliferative retinopathy was small, hence, our result should be considered as a preliminary finding.
- Aldehyde dehydrogenase
- Chlorpromide alcohol flushing test
- Diabetes mellitus
- Diabetic retinopathy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism