• FTO variant rs9939609 is associated with body mass index and waist circumference, but not with energy intake or physical activity in European- and African-American youth.

      Liu, Gaifen; Zhu, Haidong; Lagou, Vasiliki; Gutin, Bernard; Stallmann-Jorgensen, Inger S; Treiber, Frank A.; Dong, Yanbin; Snieder, Harold; Georgia Institute for Prevention of Human Diseases and Accidents (2010-05-05)
      BACKGROUND: Genome-wide association studies found common variants in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene associated with adiposity in Caucasians and Asians but the association was not confirmed in African populations. Association of FTO variants with insulin resistance and energy intake showed inconsistent results in previous studies. This study aimed to assess the influence of FTO variant rs9939609 on adiposity, insulin resistance, energy intake and physical activity in European - (EA) and African-American (AA) youth. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study in EA and AA youths. One thousand, nine hundred and seventy-eight youths (48.2% EAs, 47.1% male, mean age 16.5 years) had measures of anthropometry. Percent body fat (%BF) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAAT) by magnetic resonance imaging. Energy intake and physical activity were based on self report from up to 7 24-hour recalls. Physical activity was also measured by accelerometry. RESULTS: FTO rs9939609 was significantly associated with body mass index (BMI) (P = 0.01), weight (P = 0.03) and waist circumference (P = 0.04), with per-allele effects of 0.4 kg/m2, 1.3 kg and 0.8 cm, respectively. No significant association was found between rs9939609 and %BF, VAT, SAAT or insulin resistance (P > 0.05), or between rs9939609 and energy intake or vigorous physical activity (P > 0.05). No significant interactions of rs9939609 with ethnicity, gender, energy intake or physical activity were observed (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The FTO variant rs9939609 is modestly associated with BMI and waist circumference, but not with energy intake or physical activity. Moreover, these effects were similar for EAs and AAs. Improved understanding of the effect of the FTO variant will offer new insights into the etiology of excess adiposity.
    • Heritability of insulin sensitivity and lipid profile depend on BMI: evidence for gene-obesity interaction.

      Wang, X; Ding, Xiuhua; Su, S; Spector, T D; Mangino, M; Iliadou, Anastasia; Snieder, H; Georgia Institute for Prevention of Human Diseases and Accidents (2010-01-21)
      AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Evidence from candidate gene studies suggests that obesity may modify genetic susceptibility to type 2 diabetes and dyslipidaemia. On an aggregate level, gene-obesity interactions are expected to result in different heritability estimates at different obesity levels. However, this hypothesis has never been tested. METHOD: The present study included 2,180 British female twins. BMI was used as an index of general obesity. Outcome measures were insulin sensitivity (indexed by quantitative insulin-sensitivity check index [QUICKI]) and fasting plasma lipid profile. Structural equation modelling was used to test whether BMI interacted with latent genetic and environmental effects to impact on the outcome measures. RESULTS: Genetic influences on triacylglycerol increased with BMI (p < 0.001) whereas the unique environmental influence on QUICKI decreased with BMI (p < 0.001), resulting in a higher heritability estimate for both measures at higher BMI levels. This was further illustrated by stratified analysis in twin pairs concordant for normal weight and twin pairs concordant for overweight. Heritability was 19 percentage points higher for triacylglycerol (p < 0.001) and 31 percentage points higher for QUICKI (p < 0.01) among twins concordant for overweight than among twins concordant for normal weight. BMI had no moderator effect on the latent genetic and environmental factors for total cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Our results suggest that the expression of genes influencing triacylglycerol and insulin sensitivity can vary as a function of obesity status. The substantial increases in the genetic contribution to the total variance in insulin sensitivity and triacylglycerols at higher BMIs may prove extremely valuable in the search for candidate genes.