The molecular pathogenesis of diabetes remains poorly understood because of the genetic complexity of the disease. One possibly effective approach to elucidate the pathogenesis is to study an animal model with a similar phenotype. The TSOD (Tsumura, Suzuki, Obese Diabetes) mouse, a newly developed animal model, exhibits both diabetes and obesity with marked hyperinsulinemia and hypertrophy of the pancreatic islets and might represent a common form of obese type 2 diabetes in humans. Phenotypic characterization revealed that the TSOD mouse had both insulin resistance and impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. A comprehensive genetic dissection of diabetes and obesity has been performed using F1 and F2 progeny between the TSOD and control BALB/cA strains. A genome-wide screen for loci linked to glucose homeostasis and body weight allowed us to map three quantitative trait loci (QTLs) involved in this disorder. The major genetic determinant of blood glucose levels was identified on chromosome 11. Furthermore, two independent QTLs involved in controlling body weight were found on chromosomes 1 and 2. The QTL on chromosome 2 also affected insulin levels significantly. Each QTL has distinct effects on different traits and a different mode of inheritance. Our study indicates that hyperglycemia and obesity are clearly controlled by distinct combinations of genetic loci in this mouse model and provides insights into the genetic basis of common forms of human type 2 diabetes with obesity.

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