Variants in the SIRT1 Gene May Affect Diabetes Risk in Interaction With Prenatal Exposure to Famine

  1. Tessa J. Roseboom, PHD2,3
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  1. Corresponding author: Eric J.G. Sijbrands, e.sijbrands{at}


OBJECTIVE To investigate whether SIRT1, a nutrient-sensing histone deacetylase, influences fetal programming during malnutrition.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In 793 individuals of the Dutch Famine Birth Cohort, we analyzed the interaction between three SIRT1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and prenatal exposure to famine on type 2 diabetes risk.

RESULTS In the total population (exposed and unexposed), SIRT1 variants were not associated with type 2 diabetes. A significant interaction was found between two SIRT1 SNPs and exposure to famine in utero on type 2 diabetes risk (P = 0.03 for rs7895833; P = 0.01 for rs1467568). Minor alleles of these SNPs were associated with a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes only in individuals who had been exposed to famine prenatally (odds ratio for rs7895833 0.50 [95% CI 0.24–1.03], P = 0.06; for rs1467568 0.48 [0.25–0.91], P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS SIRT1 may be an important genetic factor involved in fetal programming during malnutrition, influencing type 2 diabetes risk later in life.

  • Received June 24, 2011.
  • Accepted October 31, 2011.

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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 35 no. 2 424-426
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