Associations between BMI and the FTO gene are age dependent: Results from the GINI and LISA birth cohort studies up to age 6 years

Institute of Epidemiology, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany.
Obesity Facts (Impact Factor: 1.71). 06/2010; 3(3):173-80. DOI: 10.1159/000314612
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The association between polymorphisms in intron 1 of the fat mass and obesity associated gene (FTO) and obesity-related traits is one of the most robust associations reported for complex traits and is established both in adults and children. However, little is known about the longitudinal dynamics of these polymorphisms on body mass index (BMI), overweight, and obesity.
This study is based on the 2,732 full-term neonates of the German GINI-plus and LISA-plus birth cohorts, for whom genotyping data on the FTO variants rs1558902 (T>A) or rs9935401 (G>A) were available. Children were followed from birth up to age 6 years. Up to 9 anthropometric measurements of BMI were obtained. Fractional-Polynomial-Generalized-Estimation-Equation modeling was used to assess developmental trends and their potential dependence on genotype status.
We observed no evidence for BMI differences between genotypes of both variants for the first 3 years of life. However, from age 3 years onwards, we noted a higher BMI for the homozygous minor alleles carriers in comparison to the other two genotype groups. However, evidence for statistical significance was reached from the age of 4 years onwards.
This is one of the first studies investigating in detail the development of BMI depending on FTO genotype between birth and the age of 6 years in a birth cohort not selected for the phenotype studied. We observed that the association between BMI and FTO genotype evolves gradually and becomes descriptively detectable from the age of 3 years onwards.

Download full-text


Available from: Thomas Illig, Nov 11, 2014
  • Obesity Facts 06/2010; 3(3):157-8. DOI:10.1159/000316417 · 1.71 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although heritability of human body weight is assumed to be high, only a small fraction of the variance can as yet be attributed to molecular genetic factors. Single monogenic forms of obesity have been identified. Functionally relevant coding mutations in the melanocortin-4 receptor gene occur in 1-6% of extremely obese children and adolescents and thus represent the most common major gene effect. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) had previously identified 14 obesity loci with genome-wide significant (p < 5 x 10-8) associations. Many of the respective genes are expressed in the central nervous system. The GIANT (Genetic Investigation of ANtropometric Traits) Consortium has now performed a meta-analysis of GWAS data based on 123,865 individuals of European ancestry followed by confirmatory analyses for the 42 best independent loci in up to 125,931 independent individuals (Speliotes et al: Association analyses of 249,796 individuals reveal eighteen new loci associated with body mass index. Nature Genetics; epub October 2010 [1]). Apart from confirming the 14 known loci, 18 novel BMI-associated loci (p < 5 x 10-8) were identified. Several of the new loci point to genes involved in key hypothalamic pathways of energy balance. The identified variants mostly have small to very small effect sizes; only 1-2% of the BMI variance is explained. Currently, a consensus explanation for this 'missing heritability' in complex diseases has not yet emerged.
    Obesity Facts 10/2010; 3(5):294-303. DOI:10.1159/000321537 · 1.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several obesity risk alleles affecting adult adiposity have been identified by the recent wave of genome wide association studies. We aimed to examine the potential effect of these variants on fetal body composition by investigating the variants in relation to birth weight and ponderal index of the newborn. Midwife records from the Danish State Archives provided information on mother's age, parity, as well as birth weight, birth length and prematurity of the newborn in 4,744 individuals of the population-based Inter99 study. Twenty-four risk alleles showing genome-wide associations with adult BMI and/or waist circumference were genotyped. None of the 24 risk variants tested showed an association with birth weight or ponderal index after correction for multiple testing. Birth weight was divided into three categories low (≤10(th) percentile), normal (10(th)-90(th) percentile) and high birth weight (≥90th percentile) to allow for non-linear associations. There was no difference in the number of risk alleles between the groups (p = 0.57). No interactions between each risk allele and birth weight in the prediction of adult BMI were observed. An obesity risk score was created by summing up risk alleles. The risk score did not associate with fetal body composition. Moreover there was no interaction between the risk score and birth weight/ponderal index in the prediction of adult BMI. 24 common variants associated with adult adiposity did not affect or interact with birth weight among Danes suggesting that the effects of these variants predominantly arise in the post-natal life.
    PLoS ONE 12/2010; 5(12):e14190. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0014190 · 3.53 Impact Factor
Show more