Discovery of loci affecting blood phenotypes and diabetes risk in domestic cats

Adam Boyko, PhD | Tracy Stokol, BVSc, PhD

Measurement of a variety of cell types and proteins in the blood of cats (i.e. red blood cells, white blood cells, liver and pancreatic enzymes) is commonly used during routine screenings and to evaluate cats with a variety of diseases including diabetes mellitus (diabetes), an extremely common endocrine disease that has negative effects on quality of life and longevity of affected cats. An understanding of the genetic basis of variability of these cells and proteins, and of the association of this variability with a variety of diseases that commonly affect cats, including diabetes, has the potential to dramatically improve the diagnosis and treatment of cats with these conditions.

This project is using advanced molecular biological (i.e. DNA and RNA based) techniques to find the role of genetics in the development and variability of a variety of feline blood cells and proteins, and in the risk for the development of diabetes in cats.