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Nagoya Journal of Medical Science  2014;76(3-4):333-339.
The genome-wide association study identified associations between the LRP2 polymorphism rs2544390 and serum uric acid (SUA) levels in a Japanese population. Our previous study on the LRP2 rs2544390 polymorphism identified an interaction between SUA and alcohol consumption. Here, we investigated an interaction with body mass index (BMI) using the same dataset. Subjects were 3,742 health checkup examinees (2,544 males and 1,198 females) aged 35–69 years. Those with the SLC22A12 258WW genotype, SLC2A9 rs11722228 C allele, and ABCG2 126QQ genotype and 141Q allele were selected for analysis to remove the strong influences of these genetic traits. In males, the odds ratio of BMI ≥25.0 relative to BMI <18.5 for hyperuricemia (SUA ≥7 mg/dL and/or under medication for hyperuricemia) was 6.58 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.84–51.32) for CC, 10.08 (2.38–42.83) for CT, and 2.53 (0.54–11.78) for TT. The interaction was 0.59 (p=0.029) from the model including BMI (<25.0 and ≥25.0), genotype (CC/CT and TT), and the multiplicative interaction term between BMI ≥25.0 and the TT genotype. In females, the odds ratio of BMI ≥25.0 relative to BMI <18.5 for high SUA (≥5 mg/dL and/or under medication for hyperuricemia) was 6.35 (95%CI, 1.68–24.08) for CC, 4.55 (1.85–11.18) for CT, and 5.93 (1.97–17.90) for TT. The interaction term was significant in the opposite direction for females (OR=2.75, p=0.011). The association between BMI and SUA was therefore modified by the LRP2 polymorphism in this Japanese population.
PMCID: PMC4345695  PMID: 25741042
LRP2 rs2544390; Body mass index; Serum uric acid levels
2.  Common variants of a urate-associated gene LRP2 are not associated with gout susceptibility 
Rheumatology International  2013;34(4):473-476.
A recent genome-wide association study revealed that there is an association between serum uric acid (SUA) levels and rs2544390, a common variant in low-density lipoprotein-related protein 2 (LRP2/Megalin) gene. Two other variants of LRP2, rs2229268 and rs3755166, are also found to have associations with dyslipidemia and Alzheimer’s disease, respectively, which also could have a relationship with SUA in human. Although no studies report that LRP2 transports urate, LRP2 is a multi-ligand receptor and expresses in many tissues including kidney, suggesting a direct and/or indirect relationship with gout. In the present study, we investigated the association between gout and these variants of LRP2 with 741 clinically diagnosed male gout patients and 1,302 controls. As a result, the three common LRP2 variants, rs2544390, rs2229268 and rs3755166, showed no association with gout (P = 0.76, 0.55, and 0.22, respectively). Our study is the first to reveal that an SUA-related gene LRP2 is not involved in gout susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC3953547  PMID: 24366390
Gouty arthritis; Hyperuricemia; Hyperlipidemia; Urate exporter; Low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR); LDLR gene family
3.  Gene-Gene Combination Effect and Interactions among ABCA1, APOA1, SR-B1, and CETP Polymorphisms for Serum High-Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol in the Japanese Population 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82046.
Gene-gene interactions in the reverse cholesterol transport system for high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) are poorly understood. The present study observed gene-gene combination effect and interactions between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ABCA1, APOA1, SR-B1, and CETP in serum HDL-C from a cross-sectional study in the Japanese population.
The study population comprised 1,535 men and 1,515 women aged 35–69 years who were enrolled in the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) Study. We selected 13 SNPs in the ABCA1, APOA1, CETP, and SR-B1 genes in the reverse cholesterol transport system. The effects of genetic and environmental factors were assessed using general linear and logistic regression models after adjusting for age, sex, and region.
Principal Findings
Alcohol consumption and daily activity were positively associated with HDL-C levels, whereas smoking had a negative relationship. The T allele of CETP, rs3764261, was correlated with higher HDL-C levels and had the highest coefficient (2.93 mg/dL/allele) among the 13 SNPs, which was statistically significant after applying the Bonferroni correction (p<0.001). Gene-gene combination analysis revealed that CETP rs3764261 was associated with high HDL-C levels with any combination of SNPs from ABCA1, APOA1, and SR-B1, although no gene-gene interaction was apparent. An increasing trend for serum HDL-C was also observed with an increasing number of alleles (p<0.001).
The present study identified a multiplier effect from a polymorphism in CETP with ABCA1, APOA1, and SR-B1, as well as a dose-dependence according to the number of alleles present.
PMCID: PMC3869658  PMID: 24376512
4.  A common variant of leucine-rich repeat-containing 16A (LRRC16A) gene is associated with gout susceptibility 
Human Cell  2013;27(1):1-4.
Gout is a common disease resulting from hyperuricemia which causes acute arthritis. Recently, genome-wide association studies revealed an association between serum uric acid levels and a common variant of leucine-rich repeat-containing 16A (LRRC16A) gene. However, it remains to be clarified whether LRRC16A contributes to the susceptibility to gout. In this study, we investigated the relationship between rs742132 in LRRC16A and gout. A total of 545 Japanese male gout cases and 1,115 male individuals as a control group were genotyped. rs742132 A/A genotype significantly increased the risk of gout, conferring an odds ratio of 1.30 (95 % CI 1.05–1.60; p = 0.015). LRRC16A encodes a protein called capping protein ARP2/3 and myosin-I linker (CARMIL), which serves as an inhibitor of the actin capping protein (CP). CP is an essential element of the actin cytoskeleton, which binds to the barbed end of the actin filament and regulates its polymerization. In the apical membrane of proximal tubular cells in the human kidney, the urate-transporting multimolecular complex (urate transportsome) is proposed to consist of several urate transporters and scaffolding proteins, which interact with the actin cytoskeleton. Thus, if there is a CARMIL dysfunction and regulatory disability in actin polymerization, urate transportsome may be unable to operate appropriately. We have shown for the first time that CARMIL/LRRC16A was associated with gout, which could be due to urate transportsome failure.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13577-013-0081-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3889988  PMID: 24318514
Gouty arthritis; Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); Urate transport; PDZ domain-containing 1 (PDZK1); Sodium–proton exchanger regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1)
5.  Polymorphisms in genes encoding antioxidant enzymes (SOD2, CAT, GPx, TXNRD, SEPP1, SEP15 and SELS) and risk of chronic kidney disease in Japanese - cross-sectional data from the J-MICC study 
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is well known as a strong risk factor for both of end-stage renal disease and cardiovascular disease. To clarify the association of polymorphisms in the genes encoding antioxidant enzymes (SOD2, CAT, GPx, TXNRD, SEPP1, SEP15 and SELS) with the risk of CKD in Japanese, we examined this association using the cross-sectional data of Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) Study. The subjects were 3,285 men and women, aged 35–69 years, selected from J-MICC Study participants for whom genotyping were conducted by multiplex polymerase chain reaction-based Invader assay. The prevalence of CKD was determined for CKD stages 3–5 (eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2). When those with CAT C-262T C/C were defined as reference, those with CAT C-262T C/T demonstrated the OR for CKD of 0.67 (95% CI 0.43–1.06) with the marginally significant trend for decreased odds ratio with increasing numbers of T allele (p = 0.070). There were no significant associations between the other polymorphisms with CKD risk. The present study found a marginally significant trend of the decreased risk of CKD with increasing numbers of T allele of CAT, which may suggest the possibility of personalized risk estimation of this life-limiting disease in the near future.
PMCID: PMC3705159  PMID: 23874065
antioxidant enzymes; genetic predisposition to disease; single nucleotide polymorphisms; chronic kidney disease
Nagoya Journal of Medical Science  2013;75(1-2):73-80.
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing plays a major role in prostate cancer screening; however, the low positive predictive value of PSA testing leads to many unnecessary biopsies. Genetic background is one of factors that could cause it. That’s why an association between genetic background and PSA levels should be elucidated. This study aimed to investigate whether DPP4 genetic variants are associated with baseline PSA levels. A cross-sectional study was performed on 2,074 Japanese men aged between 35 and 69 in the Shizuoka area from the Japan Multi-institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) Study. Three DPP4 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected for genotyping: rs3788979 (A/G), rs7608798 (T/C), and rs2268889 (A/G). Higher mean serum PSA levels were significantly associated with an increase in the number of the rs7608798 C allele (p for trend = 0.02). A stratified analysis by age groups demonstrated that PSA levels had positive significant trends with the numbers of the minor alleles of rs3788979 or rs7608798 in the oldest group (men aged between 60 and 69) (p for trend=0.004 for rs3788979 and p for trend=0.001 for rs7608798). Haplotype analysis showed that the C-A (rs7608798-rs2268889) haplotype was significantly associated with increased PSA levels (p=0.006), compared with the most common haplotype, T-A. In summary, our study suggests that DPP4 genetic variants influence baseline PSA levels, especially in men aged between 60 and 69.
PMCID: PMC4345699  PMID: 23544270
DPP-IV; Prostate cancer; Screening; Polymorphism; Cross-sectional study
Nagoya Journal of Medical Science  2013;75(1-2):93-100.
Several genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of ABCG2 and SLC22A12 were strongly associated with serum uric acid (SUA), but those of methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) were not. However, there were several studies indicating the association with MTHFR C677T polymorphism. This study examined the association with the polymorphism, taking into account the genotypes of ABCG2 Q126X and SLC22A12 W258X. Subjects were 5,028 health checkup examinees of Seirei Preventive Health Care Center (3,416 males and 1,612 females) aged 35 to 69 years, who participated in the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort Study (J-MICC Study). Hyperuricemia was defined as SUA equal to 7 mg/dL or over. The genotype frequency was 35.9% for CC, 48.1% for CT, and 16.0% for TT, being in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (p=0.90). Among 4,425 participants with ABCG2 126QQ and SLC22A12 258WW who were not under medication for hyperuricemia, the mean SUA was 5.6 mg/dL, 5.6 mg/dL, and 5.7 mg/dL, respectively. When 114 participants with ABCG2 126QQ and SLC22A12 258WW under medication for hyperuricemia were included in hyperuricemia cases, the sex-age adjusted odds ratio (OR) of hyperuricemia was not significant; OR=1.00 (95% confidence interval, 0.89–1.24) for CT genotype and OR=0.98 (0.84–1.32) for TT genotype, relative to CC genotype. The present study indicated no association between SUA and MTHFR C677T genotype, after the influences of ABCG2 Q126X and SLC22A12 W258X were removed.
PMCID: PMC4345702  PMID: 23544272
Serum uric acid; Urate transporter polymorphisms; MTHFR C677T
8.  No association between the frequency of forest walking and blood pressure levels or the prevalence of hypertension in a cross-sectional study of a Japanese population 
To study the non-temporary effects of successive walks in forested areas (shinrin-yoku) on hypertension prevalence and blood pressure levels.
Data for the analysis were derived from the baseline survey of the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) study in the Shizuoka area. Eligible participants were individuals aged 35–69 years who attended a health check-up center during 2006 and 2007. Of the 5,040 individuals who participated in the J-MICC study, Shizuoka, 4,666 were included in this analysis [3,174 men and 1,492 women; age (mean ± standard deviation) 52.1 ± 8.7 years]. The frequency of forest walking was estimated by a self-administrated questionnaire. Hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg, a diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg or, based on information provided in the questionnaire, the use of medication for hypertension.
After adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, alcohol consumption, and habitual exercise, the odds ratios of hypertension associated with forest walking once a week or more frequently, relative to less than once a month were 0.98 in men [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.68–1.42] and 1.48 (95% CI 0.80–2.71) in women. There was no significant trend between adjusted blood pressure levels and the frequency of forest walking.
The results of our cross-sectional study in a Japanese population show no association between either blood pressure levels or the prevalence of hypertension and the frequency of forest walking.
PMCID: PMC3156837  PMID: 21431814
Forest walking; Shinrin-yoku; Hypertension; Cross-sectional study; Japanese population
9.  Pro-/anti-inflammatory cytokine gene polymorphisms and chronic kidney disease: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:2.
The aim of this study was to explore the associations between common potential functional promoter polymorphisms in pro-/anti-inflammatory cytokine genes and kidney function/chronic kidney disease (CKD) prevalence in a large Japanese population.
A total of 3,323 subjects aged 35-69 were genotyped for all 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the promoter regions of candidate genes with minor allele frequencies of > 0.100 in Japanese populations. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and CKD prevalence (eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2) of the subjects were compared among the genotypes.
A higher eGFR and lower prevalence of CKD were observed for the homozygous variants of IL4 -33CC (high IL-4 [anti-inflammatory cytokine]-producing genotype) and IL6 -572GG (low IL-6 [pro-inflammatory cytokine]-producing genotype). Subjects with IL4 CC + IL6 GG showed the highest mean eGFR (79.1 ml/min/1.73 m2) and lowest CKD prevalence (0.0%), while subjects carrying IL4 TT + IL6 CC showed the lowest mean eGFR (73.4 ml/min/1.73 m2) and highest CKD prevalence (17.9%).
The functional promoter polymorphisms IL4 T-33C (rs2070874) and IL6 C-572G (rs1800796), which are the only SNPs that affect the IL-4 and IL-6 levels in Japanese subjects, were associated with kidney function and CKD prevalence in a large Japanese population.
PMCID: PMC3297507  PMID: 22230215
10.  A before and after comparison of the effects of forest walking on the sleep of a community-based sample of people with sleep complaints 
Sleep disturbance is a major health issue in Japan. This before-after study aimed to evaluate the immediate effects of forest walking in a community-based population with sleep complaints.
Participants were 71 healthy volunteers (43 men and 28 women). Two-hour forest-walking sessions were conducted on 8 different weekend days from September through December 2005. Sleep conditions were compared between the nights before and after walking in a forest by self-administered questionnaire and actigraphy data.
Two hours of forest walking improved sleep characteristics; impacting actual sleep time, immobile minutes, self-rated depth of sleep, and sleep quality. Mean actual sleep time estimated by actigraphy on the night after forest walking was 419.8 ± 128.7 (S.D.) minutes whereas that the night before was 365.9 ± 89.4 minutes (n = 42). Forest walking in the afternoon improved actual sleep time and immobile minutes compared with forest walking in the forenoon. Mean actual sleep times did not increase after forenoon walks (n = 26) (the night before and after forenoon walks, 380.0 ± 99.6 and 385.6 ± 101.7 minutes, respectively), whereas afternoon walks (n = 16) increased mean actual sleep times from 342.9 ± 66.2 to 475.4 ± 150.5 minutes. The trend of mean immobile minutes was similar to the abovementioned trend of mean actual sleep times.
Forest walking improved nocturnal sleep conditions for individuals with sleep complaints, possibly as a result of exercise and emotional improvement. Furthermore, extension of sleep duration was greater after an afternoon walk compared to a forenoon walk. Further study of a forest-walking program in a randomized controlled trial is warranted to clarify its effect on people with insomnia.
PMCID: PMC3216244  PMID: 21999605
forest walking (Shinrin-yoku); actual sleep time; actigraphy; St. Mary's Hospital Sleep Questionnaire; circadian phase
11.  Profile of Participants and Genotype Distributions of 108 Polymorphisms in a Cross-Sectional Study of Associations of Genotypes With Lifestyle and Clinical Factors: A Project in the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) Study 
Journal of Epidemiology  2011;21(3):223-235.
Most diseases are thought to arise from interactions between environmental factors and the host genotype. To detect gene–environment interactions in the development of lifestyle-related diseases, and especially cancer, the Japan Multi-institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) Study was launched in 2005.
We initiated a cross-sectional study to examine associations of genotypes with lifestyle and clinical factors, as assessed by questionnaires and medical examinations. The 4519 subjects were selected from among participants in the J-MICC Study in 10 areas throughout Japan. In total, 108 polymorphisms were chosen and genotyped using the Invader assay.
The study group comprised 2124 men and 2395 women with a mean age of 55.8 ± 8.9 years (range, 35–69 years) at baseline. Among the 108 polymorphisms examined, 4 were not polymorphic in our study population. Among the remaining 104 polymorphisms, most variations were common (minor allele frequency ≥0.05 for 96 polymorphisms). The allele frequencies in this population were comparable with those in the HapMap-JPT data set for 45 Japanese from Tokyo. Only 5 of 88 polymorphisms showed allele-frequency differences greater than 0.1. Of the 108 polymorphisms, 32 showed a highly significant difference in minor allele frequency among the study areas (P < 0.001).
This comprehensive data collection on lifestyle and clinical factors will be useful for elucidating gene–environment interactions. In addition, it is likely to be an informative reference tool, as free access to genotype data for a large Japanese population is not readily available.
PMCID: PMC3899413  PMID: 21467728
allele frequency; cross-sectional studies; gene–environment interactions; Japan Multi-institutional Collaborative Cohort Study; polymorphism

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