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author:("russe, Louis")
1.  Advances in Exercise, Fitness, and Performance Genomics in 2010 (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise) 
This review of the exercise genomics literature emphasizes the strongest papers published in 2010 as defined by sample size, quality of phenotype measurements, quality of the exercise program or physical activity exposure, study design, adjustment for multiple testing, quality of genotyping, and other related study characteristics. One study on voluntary running wheel behavior was performed in 448 mice from 41 inbred strains. Several quantitative trait loci for running distance, speed, and duration were identified. Several studies on the alpha-3 actinin (ACTN3) R577X nonsense polymorphism and the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) I/D polymorphism were reported with no clear evidence for a joint effect, but the studies were generally underpowered. Skeletal muscle RNA abundance at baseline for 29 transcripts and 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were both found to be predictive of the VO2max response to exercise training in one report from multiple laboratories. None of the 50 loci associated with adiposity traits is known to influence physical activity behavior. However, physical activity appears to reduce the obesity-promoting effects of at least 12 of these loci. Evidence continues to be strong for a role of gene-exercise interaction effects on the improvement in insulin sensitivity following exposure to regular exercise. SNPs in the cAMP responsive element binding position 1 (CREB1) gene were associated with training-induced heart rate response, in the C-reactive protein (CRP) gene with training-induced changes in left ventricular mass, and in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene with carotid stiffness in low-fit individuals. We conclude that progress is being made but that high-quality research designs and replication studies with large sample sizes are urgently needed.
PMCID: PMC3951763  PMID: 21499051
Genetics; exercise training; candidate genes; gene-exercise interaction; single nucleotide polymorphism; quantitative trait locus; genomic predictors
2.  Findings from the Quebec Family Study on the Etiology of Obesity: Genetics and Environmental Highlights 
Current Obesity Reports  2014;3:54-66.
The Quebec Family Study (QFS) was an observational study with three cycles of data collection between 1979 and 2002 in Quebec City, Canada. The cohort is a mixture of random sampling and ascertainment through obese individuals. The study has significantly contributed to our understanding of the determinants of obesity and associated disease risk over the past 35 years. In particular, the QFS cohort was used to investigate the contribution of familial resemblance and genetic effects on body fatness and behaviors related to energy balance. Significant familial aggregation and genetic heritability were reported for total adiposity, fat-free mass, subcutaneous fat distribution, abdominal and visceral fat, resting metabolic rate, physical activity level and other behavioral traits. The resources of QFS were also used to study the contribution of several nontraditional (non-caloric) risk factors as predictors of excess body weight and gains in weight and adiposity over time, including low calcium and micronutrient intake, high disinhibition eating behavior trait, and short sleep duration. An important finding relates to the interactions between dietary macronutrient intake and exercise intensity on body mass and adiposity.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13679-013-0086-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3920031  PMID: 24533236
Genes; Environment; Physical activity; Diet; Nutrition; Eating behavior; Sleep; Calcium; Cohort; Observational study; Longitudinal study; Quebec Family Study; Obesity
4.  Omega-3 fatty acids status in human subjects estimated using a food frequency questionnaire and plasma phospholipids levels 
Nutrition Journal  2012;11:46.
Intakes of omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids (FA) are associated with several health benefits. The aim of this study was to verify whether intakes of n-3 FA estimated from a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) correlate with n-3 FA levels measured in plasma phospholipids (PL).
The study sample consisted of 200 French-Canadians men and women aged between 18 to 55 years. Dietary data were collected using a validated FFQ. Fasting blood samples were collected and the plasma PL FA profile was measured by gas chromatography.
Low intakes of n-3 long-chain FA together with low percentages of n-3 long-chain FA in plasma PL were found in French-Canadian population. Daily intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were similar between men and women. Yet, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and total n-3 FA intakes were significantly higher in men compared to women (ALA: 2.28 g and 1.69 g, p < 0.0001, total n-3 FA: 2.57 g and 1.99 g, p < 0.0001; respectively). In plasma PL, DPA and DHA percentages were significantly different between men and women (DPA: 1.03% and 0.88%, p < 0.0001, DHA: 3.00% and 3.43%, p = 0.0005; respectively). Moreover, DHA (men: r = 0.52, p < 0.0001; women: r = 0.57, p < 0.0001) and total n-3 FA (men: r = 0.47, p < 0.0001; women: r = 0.52, p < 0.0001) intakes were positively correlated to their respective plasma PL FA levels. In women, EPA (r = 0.44, p < 0.0001) and DPA (r = 0.23, p = 0.02) intakes were also correlated respectively with EPA and DPA plasma PL FA percentages.
Estimated n-3 long-chain FA intake among this young and well-educated French-Canadian population is lower than the recommendations. Further, FFQ data is comparable to plasma PL results to estimate DHA and total n-3 FA status in healthy individuals as well as to evaluate the EPA and DPA status in women. Overall, this FFQ could be used as a simple, low-cost tool in future studies to rank n-3 FA status of individuals.
PMCID: PMC3412753  PMID: 22775977
Food frequency questionnaire; Plasma phospholipids; n-3 PUFA; Biomarker; Gas chromatography
5.  LINE-1 methylation in visceral adipose tissue of severely obese individuals is associated with metabolic syndrome status and related phenotypes 
Clinical Epigenetics  2012;4(1):10.
Epigenetic mechanisms may be involved in the regulation of genes found to be differentially expressed in the visceral adipose tissue (VAT) of severely obese subjects with (MetS+) versus without (MetS-) metabolic syndrome (MetS). Long interspersed nuclear element 1 (LINE-1) elements DNA methylation levels (%meth) in blood, a marker of global DNA methylation, have recently been associated with fasting glucose, blood lipids, heart diseases and stroke.
To test whether LINE-1%meth levels in VAT are associated with MetS phenotypes and whether they can predict MetS risk in severely obese individuals.
DNA was extracted from VAT of 34 men (MetS-: n = 14, MetS+: n = 20) and 152 premenopausal women (MetS-: n = 84; MetS+: n = 68) undergoing biliopancreatic diversion for the treatment of obesity. LINE-1%meth levels were assessed by pyrosequencing of sodium bisulfite-treated DNA.
The mean LINE-1%meth in VAT was of 75.8% (SD = 3.0%). Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that LINE-1%meth was negatively associated with fasting glucose levels (β = -0.04; P = 0.03), diastolic blood pressure (β =  -0.65; P = 0.03) and MetS status (β = -0.04; P = 0.004) after adjustments for the effects of age, sex, waist circumference (except for MetS status) and smoking. While dividing subjects into quartiles based on their LINE-1%meth (Q1 to Q4: lower %meth to higher %meth levels), greater risk were observed in the first (Q1: odds ratio (OR) = 4.37, P = 0.004) and the second (Q2: OR = 4.76, P = 0.002) quartiles compared to Q4 (1.00) when adjusting for age, sex and smoking.
These results suggest that lower global DNA methylation, assessed by LINE-1 repetitive elements methylation analysis, would be associated with a greater risk for MetS in the presence of obesity.
PMCID: PMC3464682  PMID: 22748066
Blood pressure; Epigenetics; Fasting glucose; Global DNA methylation; LINE-1; Metabolic syndrome; Severe obesity; Visceral adipose tissue
6.  The effect of mere-measurement of cognitions on physical activity behavior: a randomized controlled trial among overweight and obese individuals 
The promotion of physical activity among an overweight/obese population is an important challenge for clinical practitioners and researchers. In this regard, completing a questionnaire on cognitions could be a simple and easy strategy to increase levels of physical activity. Thus, the aim of the present study was to test the effect of completing a questionnaire based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) on the level of physical activity.
Overall, 452 overweight/obese adults were recruited and randomized to the experimental or control group. At baseline, participants completed a questionnaire on cognitions regarding their participation in leisure-time physical activity (experimental condition) versus a questionnaire on fruit and vegetable consumption (control condition). The questionnaires assessed the TPB variables that are beliefs, attitude, norm, perception of control, intention and a few additional variables from other theories. At three-month follow-up, leisure-time physical activity was self-reported by means of a short questionnaire. An analysis of covariance with baseline physical activity level as covariate was used to verify the effect of the intervention.
At follow-up, 373 participants completed the leisure-time physical activity questionnaire. The statistical analysis showed that physical activity participation was greater among participants in the experimental condition than those in the control condition (F(1,370) = 6.85, p = .009, d = 0.20).
Findings indicate that completing a TPB questionnaire has a significant positive impact on subsequent participation in physical activity. Consequently, asking individuals to complete such a questionnaire is a simple, inexpensive and easy strategy to increase the level of physical activity among overweight/obese adults.
PMCID: PMC3023726  PMID: 21223565
7.  Positional identification of variants of Adamts16 linked to inherited hypertension 
Human Molecular Genetics  2009;18(15):2825-2838.
A previously reported blood pressure (BP) quantitative trait locus on rat Chromosome 1 was isolated in a short congenic segment spanning 804.6 kb. The 804.6 kb region contained only two genes, LOC306664 and LOC306665. LOC306664 is predicted to translate into A Disintegrin-like and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin Motifs-16 (Adamts16). LOC306665 is a novel gene. All predicted exons of both LOC306664 and LOC306665 were sequenced. Non-synonymous variants were identified in only one of these genes, LOC306664. These variants were naturally existing polymorphisms among inbred, outbred and wild rats. The full-length rat transcript of Adamts16 was detected in multiple tissues. Similar to ADAMTS16 in humans, expression of Adamts16 was prominent in the kidney. Renal transcriptome analysis suggested that a network of genes related to BP was differential between congenic and S rats. These genes were also differentially expressed between kidney cell lines with or without knock-down of Adamts16. Adamts16 is conserved between rats and humans. It is a candidate gene within the homologous region on human Chromosome 5, which is linked to systolic and diastolic BP in the Quebec Family Study. Multiple variants, including an Ala to Pro variant in codon 90 (rs2086310) of human ADAMTS16, were associated with human resting systolic BP (SBP). Replication study in GenNet confirmed the association of two variants of ADAMTS16 with SBP, including rs2086310. Overall, our report represents a high resolution positional cloning and translational study for Adamts16 as a candidate gene controlling BP.
PMCID: PMC2706685  PMID: 19423552
8.  LIPE C-60G influences the effects of physical activity on body fat and plasma lipid concentrations: the Quebec Family Study 
Human Genomics  2009;3(2):157-168.
A large body of evidence suggests that the environment plays an important role in the development of obesity. The hormone-sensitive lipase (encoded by the LIPE gene) is an intracellular enzyme that mobilises fat stores in a hormone-stimulated manner. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of the LIPE C-60G polymorphism on body fat and plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations, and to test for its interaction with physical activity. The LIPE C-60G polymorphism was genotyped in 862 subjects from the Quebec Family Study. Body mass index (BMI), fat mass, percentage body fat, abdominal fat areas assessed by computed tomography, and detailed fasting plasma lipid and lipoprotein profiles were measured. Levels of physical activity were estimated using a three-day diary, and a moderate to strenuous physical activity score was retained for this study. The main effects of the LIPE C-60G polymorphism, physical activity and their interaction were determined by regression analyses separately in men and women using the MIXED model procedure. In men, we observed significant gene-physical activity interactions for BMI (p = 0.006), fat mass (p = 0.04), abdominal visceral fat area (p = 0.005) and plasma cholesterol (C) high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio (p = 0.003). A high level of physical activity was associated with reduced adiposity and a lower plasma-C/HDL-C ratio, but only in non-carriers of the genetic variant (G-60 allele). In women, no evidence of a gene by physical activity interaction was observed, except for subcutaneous abdominal fat (p = 0.05). These results suggest that the associations between physical activity and body fat and plasma lipoprotein/lipid concentrations in men are dependent on the LIPE C-60G polymorphism, and highlight the importance of taking into account the role of gene-physical activity interactions in candidate gene studies of obesity and obesity-related traits.
PMCID: PMC3525276  PMID: 19164092
hormone-sensitive lipase; body fat; plasma lipid and lipoprotein levels; gene-environment interaction
9.  Validity of a self-reported measure of familial history of obesity 
Nutrition Journal  2008;7:27.
Familial history information could be useful in clinical practice. However, little is known about the accuracy of self-reported familial history, particularly self-reported familial history of obesity (FHO).
Two cross-sectional studies were conducted. The aims of study 1 was to compare self-reported and objectively measured weight and height whereas the aims of study 2 were to examine the relationship between the weight and height estimations reported by the study participants and the values provided by their family members as well as the validity of a self-reported measure of FHO. Study 1 was conducted between 2004 and 2006 among 617 subjects and study 2 was conducted in 2006 among 78 participants.
In both studies, weight and height reported by the participants were significantly correlated with their measured values (study 1: r = 0.98 and 0.98; study 2: r = 0.99 and 0.97 respectively; p < 0.0001). Estimates of weight and height for family members provided by the study participants were strongly correlated with values reported by each family member (r = 0.96 and 0.95, respectively; p < 0.0001). Substantial agreement between the FHO reported by the participants and the one obtained by calculating the BMI of each family members was observed (kappa = 0.72; p < 0.0001). Sensitivity (90.5%), specificity (82.6%), positive (82.6%) and negative (90.5%) predictive values of FHO were very good.
A self-reported measure of FHO is valid, suggesting that individuals are able to detect the presence or the absence of obesity in their first-degree family members.
PMCID: PMC2543037  PMID: 18783616
10.  Moderators of the intention-behaviour and perceived behavioural control-behaviour relationships for leisure-time physical activity 
Intention is a key determinant of action. However, there is a gap between intention and behavioural performance that remains to be explained. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify moderators of the intention-behaviour and perceived behavioural control (PBC)- behaviour relationships for leisure-time physical activity.
This was tested in reference to Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behaviour. A sample of 300 volunteers, 192 women and 108 men, aged 18 to 55, participated in the study. At baseline, the participants completed a self-administrated psychosocial questionnaire assessing Ajzen's theory variables (i.e., intention and perceived behavioural control). The behavioural measure was obtained by mail three months later.
Multiple hierarchical regression analyses indicated that age and annual income moderated the intention-behaviour and PBC-behaviour relationships. However, in the final model predicting behaviour (R2 = .46), only the interaction term of PBC by annual income (β = .24, p = 0.0003) significantly contributed to the prediction of behaviour along with intention (β = .49, p = 0.0009) and past behaviour (β = .44, p < 0.0001).
Physical activity promotion programs would benefit not only from focusing on increasing the intention of low intenders, but also from targeting factors that moderate the perceived behavioural control-behaviour relationships.
PMCID: PMC2275296  PMID: 18241339
11.  Dietary patterns and associated lifestyles in individuals with and without familial history of obesity: a cross-sectional study 
Familial history of obesity (FHO) and certain dietary habits are risk factors for obesity. The objectives of this cross-sectional study were 1) to derive dietary patterns using factor analysis in a population of men and women with and without FHO; 2) to compare mean factor scores for each dietary pattern between individuals with and without FHO; and 3) to examine the association between these patterns and anthropometric, lifestyle and sociodemographic variables.
A total of 197 women and 129 men with a body mass index <30 kg/m2 were recruited. A positive FHO (FHO+) was defined as having at least one obese first-degree relative and a negative FHO (FHO-) as no obese first-degree relative. Dietary data were collected from a food frequency questionnaire. Factor analysis was performed to derive dietary patterns. Mean factor scores were compared using general linear model among men and women according to FHO. Regression analyses were performed to study the relationship between anthropometric, lifestyle and sociodemographic variables, and each dietary pattern.
Two dietary patterns were identified in both men and women : the Western pattern characterized by a higher consumption of red meats, poultry, processed meats, refined grains as well as desserts, and the Prudent pattern characterized by greater intakes of vegetables, fruits, non-hydrogenated fat, and fish and seafood. Similar Western and Prudent factor scores were observed in individual with and without FHO. In men with FHO+, the Western pattern is negatively associated with age and positively associated with physical activity, smoking, and personal income. In women with FHO-, the Prudent pattern is negatively associated with BMI and smoking and these pattern is positively associated with age and physical activity.
Two dietary patterns have been identified among men and women with and without FHO. Although that FHO does not seem to influence the adherence to dietary patterns, results of this study suggest that anthropometric, lifestyle and sociodemographic variables associated with dietary patterns differ according to FHO and gender.
PMCID: PMC1635721  PMID: 17076904
12.  The alpha 2-adrenergic receptor gene and body fat content and distribution: the HERITAGE Family Study. 
Molecular Medicine  2002;8(2):88-94.
BACKGROUND: Among adrenergic receptor subtypes that regulate lipid mobilization, the alpha2-adrenergic receptor is involved in the inhibition of fatty acid mobilization from adipose tissue. A C-1291G polymorphism is located in the alpha2-adrenergic receptor gene (ADRA2A) but no association with body fat accumulation has been reported yet. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Body mass index (BMI), fat mass (FAT), percentage body fat (%FAT), trunk-to-extremity skinfold ratio (TER), sum of eight skinfolds (SF8), and abdominal subcutaneous (ASF), visceral (AVF), and total (ATF) fat areas assessed by CT scan have been measured in adult sedentary white (n = 503) and black (n = 276) subjects participating in the HERITAGE Family Study. Association between the C-1291G polymorphism and each phenotype was tested separately in men and women of each race using ANCOVA with the effects of age as covariate in addition to the effects of BMI for TER and of FAT for AVF, ASF, and ATF. RESULTS: The allele frequencies of the ADRA2A C-1291G polymorphism differed between races. No association was observed in white subjects, except for a moderate effect of the polymorphism accounting for less than 1% of the variance in AVF and ATF in women. In black subjects, however, the G-1291 allele was found to be associated with an increase of TER in men (3.8% of variance accounted for by the polymorphism), while in black women it was associated with a decrease in TER (2.9%) and in AVF (2.5%). CONCLUSION: These results suggest a role for the ADRA2A gene in determining the propensity to store fat in the abdominal area, independently of total body fatness.
PMCID: PMC2039973  PMID: 12080184

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