Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Family studies have shown that in some populations up to 75% of the variation of body mass index can be explained by genetic factors. However, in humans, no major obesity gene has been identified to date. In contrast, there are a number of genetically well defined animal models for obesity. In two of those models (ob/ob and db/db), defects in the same pathway are responsible for obesity. Recently, some evidence has been found for the OB gene also being involved in human obesity. In this study we investigated the potential role of the OB receptor (OBR) in the etiology of massive obesity in humans using familial linkage analyses and case-control association studies. The typing of two microsatellite markers (D1S198 and D1S209), flanking the OBR gene, in 256 sib pairs showed no evidence for linkage with obesity. In order to be able to detect small gene effects, association studies with a 3′-UTR insertion/deletion polymorphism were carried out. The results of these analyses remained non-significant (χ2 = 3.442, P = 0.18). However, subjects heterozygous for the insertion/deletion polymorphism showed a slight trend towards lower insulin values 30 min after an oral glucose load compared to homozygous individuals (P = 0.02). In summary, our results do not support a major role of the human OBR gene in the development of morbid obesity in our population.
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