Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a complex genetic etiology. Through an international collaboration, we genotyped 42 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)(p<10−3) from the recent TS genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 609 independent cases and 610 ancestry-matched controls. Only rs2060546 on chromosome 12q22 (p=3.3×10−4) remained significant after Bonferroni correction. Meta-analysis with the original GWAS yielded the strongest association to date (p=5.8×10−7). Although its functional significance is unclear, rs2060546 lies closest to NTN4, an axon guidance molecule expressed in developing striatum. Risk score analysis significantly predicted case/control status (p=0.042), suggesting that many of these variants are true TS risk alleles.
Large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified 97 chromosomal loci associated with increased body mass index in population-based studies on adults. One of these SNPs, rs7359397, tags a large region (approx. 1MB) with high linkage disequilibrium (r²>0.7), which comprises five genes (SH2B1, APOBR, sulfotransferases: SULT1A1 and SULT1A2, TUFM). We had previously described a rare mutation in SH2B1 solely identified in extremely obese individuals but not in lean controls.
The coding regions of the genes APOBR, SULT1A1, SULT1A2, and TUFM were screened for mutations (dHPLC, SSCP, Sanger re-sequencing) in 95 extremely obese children and adolescents. Detected non-synonymous variants were genotyped (TaqMan SNP Genotyping, MALDI TOF, PCR-RFLP) in independent large study groups (up to 3,210 extremely obese/overweight cases, 485 lean controls and 615 obesity trios). In silico tools were used for the prediction of potential functional effects of detected variants.
Except for TUFM we detected non-synonymous variants in all screened genes. Two polymorphisms rs180743 (APOBR p.Pro428Ala) and rs3833080 (APOBR p.Gly369_Asp370del9) showed nominal association to (extreme) obesity (uncorrected p = 0.003 and p = 0.002, respectively). In silico analyses predicted a functional implication for rs180743 (APOBR p.Pro428Ala). Both APOBR variants are located in the repetitive region with unknown function.
Variants in APOBR contributed as strongly as variants in SH2B1 to the association with extreme obesity in the chromosomal region chr16p11.2. In silico analyses implied no functional effect of several of the detected variants. Further in vitro or in vivo analyses on the functional implications of the obesity associated variants are warranted.
Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) were successfully applied to discover associations with obesity. However, the GWAS design is usually based on unrelated individuals and inheritance information on the parental origin of the alleles is missing. Taking into account parent-of-origin may provide further insights into the genetic mechanisms contributing to obesity. We hypothesized that there may be variants within the robustly replicated fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene that may confer different risk for obesity depending on transmission from mother or father. Genome-wide genotypes and pedigree information from the Sorbs population were used. Phased genotypes among 525 individuals were generated by AlphaImpute. Subsequently, 22 SNPs within FTO introns 1 to 3 were selected and parent-of-origin specific association analyses were performed using PLINK. Interestingly, we identified several SNPs conferring different genetic effects (P≤0.05) depending on parental origin—among them, rs1861868, rs1121980 and rs9939973 (all in intron 1). To confirm our findings, we investigated the selected variants in 705 German trios comprising an (extremely) obese child or adolescent and both parents. Again, we observed evidence for POE effects in intron 2 and 3 (P≤0.05) as indicated by the parental asymmetry test. Our results suggest that the obesity risk transmitted by several FTO variants may depend on the parental origin of the allele. Larger family-based studies are warranted to replicate our findings.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex and heritable eating disorder characterized by dangerously low body weight. Neither candidate gene studies nor an initial genome wide association study (GWAS) have yielded significant and replicated results. We performed a GWAS in 2,907 cases with AN from 14 countries (15 sites) and 14,860 ancestrally matched controls as part of the Genetic Consortium for AN (GCAN) and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 3 (WTCCC3). Individual association analyses were conducted in each stratum and meta-analyzed across all 15 discovery datasets. Seventy-six (72 independent) SNPs were taken forward for in silico (two datasets) or de novo (13 datasets) replication genotyping in 2,677 independent AN cases and 8,629 European ancestry controls along with 458 AN cases and 421 controls from Japan. The final global meta-analysis across discovery and replication datasets comprised 5,551 AN cases and 21,080 controls. AN subtype analyses (1,606 AN restricting; 1,445 AN binge-purge) were performed. No findings reached genome-wide significance. Two intronic variants were suggestively associated: rs9839776 (P=3.01×10-7) in SOX2OT and rs17030795 (P=5.84×10-6) in PPP3CA. Two additional signals were specific to Europeans: rs1523921 (P=5.76×10-6) between CUL3 and FAM124B and rs1886797 (P=8.05×10-6) near SPATA13. Comparing discovery to replication results, 76% of the effects were in the same direction, an observation highly unlikely to be due to chance (P=4×10-6), strongly suggesting that true findings exist but that our sample, the largest yet reported, was underpowered for their detection. The accrual of large genotyped AN case-control samples should be an immediate priority for the field.
anorexia nervosa; eating disorders; GWAS; genome-wide association study; body mass index; metabolic
Childhood obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges in Western countries. Abnormal eating behavior is thought to be a developmental trajectory to obesity. The Eating Pattern Inventory for Children (EPI-C) has not been used for children as young as eight years, and possible associations with body weight have not yet been established. Five hundred and twenty-one children of the Ulm Birth Cohort Study (UBCS; age eight) filled out the EPI-C and BMI was assessed. Adequacy of the scales was tested with confirmatory factor analysis and a MANOVA and cluster analysis established associations between eating patterns and BMI. The factor structure of the EPI-C was confirmed (GFI = .968) and abnormal eating behavior was associated with overweight (χ2(8) = 79.29, p<.001). The EPI-C is a valid assessment tool in this young age group. Overweight children consciously restrain their eating.
The phenotypic effect of some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) depends on their parental origin. We present a novel approach to detect parent-of-origin effects (POEs) in genome-wide genotype data of unrelated individuals. The method exploits increased phenotypic variance in the heterozygous genotype group relative to the homozygous groups. We applied the method to >56,000 unrelated individuals to search for POEs influencing body mass index (BMI). Six lead SNPs were carried forward for replication in five family-based studies (of ∼4,000 trios). Two SNPs replicated: the paternal rs2471083-C allele (located near the imprinted KCNK9 gene) and the paternal rs3091869-T allele (located near the SLC2A10 gene) increased BMI equally (beta = 0.11 (SD), P<0.0027) compared to the respective maternal alleles. Real-time PCR experiments of lymphoblastoid cell lines from the CEPH families showed that expression of both genes was dependent on parental origin of the SNPs alleles (P<0.01). Our scheme opens new opportunities to exploit GWAS data of unrelated individuals to identify POEs and demonstrates that they play an important role in adult obesity.
Large genetic association studies have revealed many genetic factors influencing common traits, such as body mass index (BMI). These studies assume that the effect of genetic variants is the same regardless of whether they are inherited from the mother or the father. In our study, we have developed a new approach that allows us to investigate variants whose impact depends on their parental origin (parent-of-origin effects), in unrelated samples when the parental origin cannot be inferred. This is feasible because at genetic markers at which such effects occur there is increased variability of the trait among individuals who inherited different genetic codes from their mother and their father compared to individuals who inherited the same genetic code from both parents. We applied this methodology to discover genetic markers with parent-of-origin effects (POEs) on BMI. This resulted in six candidate markers showing strong POE association. We then attempted to replicate the POE effects of these markers in family studies (where one can infer the parental origin of the inherited variants). Two of our candidates showed significant association in the family studies, the paternal and maternal effects of these markers were in the opposite direction.
Heritability estimates for body mass index (BMI) variation are high. For mothers and their offspring higher BMI correlations have been described than for fathers. Variation(s) in the exclusively maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) might contribute to this parental effect. Thirty-two to 40 mtDNA single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were available from genome-wide association study SNP arrays (Affymetrix 6.0). For discovery, we analyzed association in a case-control (CC) sample of 1,158 extremely obese children and adolescents and 435 lean adult controls. For independent confirmation, 7,014 population-based adults were analyzed as CC sample of n = 1,697 obese cases (BMI≥30 kg/m2) and n = 2,373 normal weight and lean controls (BMI<25 kg/m2). SNPs were analyzed as single SNPs and haplogroups determined by HaploGrep. Fisher's two-sided exact test was used for association testing. Moreover, the D-loop was re-sequenced (Sanger) in 192 extremely obese children and adolescents and 192 lean adult controls. Association testing of detected variants was performed using Fisher's two-sided exact test. For discovery, nominal association with obesity was found for the frequent allele G of m.8994G/A (rs28358887, p = 0.002) located in ATP6. Haplogroup W was nominally overrepresented in the controls (p = 0.039). These findings could not be confirmed independently. For two of the 252 identified D-loop variants nominal association was detected (m.16292C/T, p = 0.007, m.16189T/C, p = 0.048). Only eight controls carried the m.16292T allele, five of whom belonged to haplogroup W that was initially enriched among these controls. m.16189T/C might create an uninterrupted poly-C tract located near a regulatory element involved in replication of mtDNA. Though follow-up of some D-loop variants still is conceivable, our hypothesis of a contribution of variation in the exclusively maternally inherited mtDNA to the observed larger correlations for BMI between mothers and their offspring could not be substantiated by the findings of the present study.
Approaches exploiting extremes of the trait distribution may reveal novel loci for common traits, but it is unknown whether such loci are generalizable to the general population. In a genome-wide search for loci associated with upper vs. lower 5th percentiles of body mass index, height and waist-hip ratio, as well as clinical classes of obesity including up to 263,407 European individuals, we identified four new loci (IGFBP4, H6PD, RSRC1, PPP2R2A) influencing height detected in the tails and seven new loci (HNF4G, RPTOR, GNAT2, MRPS33P4, ADCY9, HS6ST3, ZZZ3) for clinical classes of obesity. Further, we show that there is large overlap in terms of genetic structure and distribution of variants between traits based on extremes and the general population and little etiologic heterogeneity between obesity subgroups.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex and heritable eating disorder characterized by dangerously low body weight. Neither candidate gene studies nor an initial genome wide association study (GWAS) have yielded significant and replicated results. We performed a GWAS in 2,907 cases with AN from 14 countries (15 sites) and 14,860 ancestrally matched controls as part of the Genetic Consortium for AN (GCAN) and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 3 (WTCCC3). Individual association analyses were conducted in each stratum and meta-analyzed across all 15 discovery datasets. Seventy-six (72 independent) SNPs were taken forward for in silico (two datasets) or de novo (13 datasets) replication genotyping in 2,677 independent AN cases and 8,629 European ancestry controls along with 458 AN cases and 421 controls from Japan. The final global meta-analysis across discovery and replication datasets comprised 5,551 AN cases and 21,080 controls. AN subtype analyses (1,606 AN restricting; 1,445 AN binge-purge) were performed. No findings reached genome-wide significance. Two intronic variants were suggestively associated: rs9839776 (P=3.01×10−7) in SOX2OT and rs17030795 (P=5.84×10−6) in PPP3CA. Two additional signals were specific to Europeans: rs1523921 (P=5.76×10−6) between CUL3 and FAM124B and rs1886797 (P=8.05×10−6) near SPATA13. Comparing discovery to replication results, 76% of the effects were in the same direction, an observation highly unlikely to be due to chance (P= 4×10−6), strongly suggesting that true findings exist but that our sample, the largest yet reported, was underpowered for their detection. The accrual of large genotyped AN case-control samples should be an immediate priority for the field.
anorexia nervosa; eating disorders; GWAS; genome-wide association study; body mass index; metabolic
Excessive physical activity is one of the most paradoxical features of anorexia nervosa (AN). However, there is individual variation in the degree of physical activity found in AN-patients. As a result, marked differences in energy expenditure may be expected. Furthermore, exercise has a positive impact on a variety of psychological disorders and the psychopathology may be different in AN displaying high exercise levels versus AN displaying low exercise levels. We analyzed the energy metabolism and psychological data in low-level exercise and high-level exercise AN-patients compared with healthy, age matched controls.
Physical activity, energy expenditure (EE) by the doubly labelled water technique and indirect calorimetry, hormone status as well as psychopathology by questionnaires for eating disorders (EDI-SC, EDI-2), eating attitude (EAT) and depression (BDI) were assessed in twelve AN patients and twelve controls.
REE was decreased in AN-patients compared with controls but not when adjusted for body surface area or lean body mass. No differences in TDEE between AN- patients and controls were observed. Subgroup analyses showed that the percentage of high-level AN- exercisers was higher compared with controls. This subgroup had increased resting EE, total daily EE and scored higher on depression and the EDI-item “Drive for thinness” compared with low-level AN-exercisers.
We identified a significant subgroup of high-level AN-exercisers (66%) with consecutive increased energy requirements. An easy way for clinicians to assess the amount of exercise before and in the course of treatment is a single question in the established Eating Disorder Inventory-SC (EDI-SC).
Anorexia nervosa; Exercise; Energy expenditure; Physical activity; Doubly labelled water; Calorimetry
Prevalence rates of overweight and obesity have increased in German children and adolescents in the last three decades. Adolescents with extreme obesity represent a distinct risk group. On the basis of data obtained by the German Child and Youth Survey (KiGGS) and the German district military offices we estimate that the group of extremely obese adolescents (BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2) currently encompasses approximately 200.000 adolescents aged 14 to 21 yrs. Conventional approaches focusing on weight reduction have largely proven futile for them. In addition, only a small percentage of adolescents with extreme obesity seek actively treatment for obesity while contributing disproportionately strong to health care costs. Because of somatic and psychiatric co-morbidities and social problems adolescents with extreme obesity require special attention within the medical care system.
We have initiated the project “Medical and psychosocial implications of adolescents with extreme obesity - acceptance and effects of structured care, short: ‘Youths with Extreme Obesity Study (YES)’”, which aims at improving the medical care and social support structures for youths with extreme obesity in Germany.
We focus on identification of these subjects (baseline examination) and their acceptance of diagnostic and subsequent treatment procedures. In a randomized controlled trial (RCT) we will investigate the effectiveness of a low key group intervention not focusing on weight loss but aimed at the provision of obesity related information, alleviation of social isolation, school and vocational integration and improvement of self-esteem in comparison to a control group treated in a conventional way with focus on weight loss. Interested individuals who fulfill current recommended criteria for weight loss surgery will be provided with a structured preparation and follow-up programs. All subjects will be monitored within a long-term observational study to elucidate medical and psychosocial outcomes. Our aim is to evaluate realistic treatment options. Therefore inclusion and exclusion criteria are minimized.
We will recruit adolescents (age range 14–21 years) with extreme obesity (BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2) (extreme group) within 24 months (120 per centre, 5 centres) as well as obese adolescents being at risk for developing extreme obesity (BMI ≥ 30 – 34.9 kg/m2) (at risk group). Follow-up evalutations will be performed biannually after inclusion for several years depending on additional funding. In sum, we aim at establishing evaluated health care structures for extremely obese adolescents.
The results of YES will be of importance for a frequently neglected group of individuals, for whom current medicine has little to offer in terms of structured access to empirically evaluated therapeutic programs. Thus, the results will be both a help for the adolescents within the study and for others in the future given that the trial will lead to a positive finding. Moreover, it will help practitioners and therapists to deal with this neglected group of individuals.
Project registration numbers for each subproject: 1.) ClinicalTrials.gov:
NCT01632098; 2.) Germanctr.de:
Adolescents with extreme obesity; Bariatric surgery; Social isolation; School and vocational integration
Intellectual disability (ID) is often associated with behavioral problems or disorders. Mutations in the GRIN2B gene (MRD6, MIM613970) have been identified as a common cause of ID (prevalence of 0.5 – 1% in individuals with ID) associated with EEG and behavioral problems.
We assessed five GRIN2B mutation carriers aged between 3 and 14 years clinically and via standardized questionnaires to delineate a detailed behavioral phenotype. Parents and teachers rated problem behavior of their affected children by completing the Developmental Behavior Checklist (DBC) and the Conners’ Rating Scales Revised (CRS-R:L).
All individuals had mild to severe ID and needed guidance in daily routine. They showed characteristic behavior problems with prominent hyperactivity, impulsivity, distractibility and a short attention span. Stereotypies, sleeping problems and a friendly but boundless social behavior were commonly reported.
Our observations provide an initial delineation of the behavioral phenotype of GRIN2B mutation carriers.
GRIN2B mutations; Behavior problems; Hyperactivity; Stereotypies; Intellectual disability
There are hints of an altered mitochondrial function in obesity. Nuclear-encoded genes are relevant for mitochondrial function (3 gene sets of known relevant pathways: (1) 16 nuclear regulators of mitochondrial genes, (2) 91 genes for oxidative phosphorylation and (3) 966 nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes). Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) showed no association with type 2 diabetes mellitus in these gene sets. Here we performed a GSEA for the same gene sets for obesity. Genome wide association study (GWAS) data from a case-control approach on 453 extremely obese children and adolescents and 435 lean adult controls were used for GSEA. For independent confirmation, we analyzed 705 obesity GWAS trios (extremely obese child and both biological parents) and a population-based GWAS sample (KORA F4, n = 1,743). A meta-analysis was performed on all three samples. In each sample, the distribution of significance levels between the respective gene set and those of all genes was compared using the leading-edge-fraction-comparison test (cut-offs between the 50th and 95th percentile of the set of all gene-wise corrected p-values) as implemented in the MAGENTA software. In the case-control sample, significant enrichment of associations with obesity was observed above the 50th percentile for the set of the 16 nuclear regulators of mitochondrial genes (pGSEA,50 = 0.0103). This finding was not confirmed in the trios (pGSEA,50 = 0.5991), but in KORA (pGSEA,50 = 0.0398). The meta-analysis again indicated a trend for enrichment (pMAGENTA,50 = 0.1052, pMAGENTA,75 = 0.0251). The GSEA revealed that weak association signals for obesity might be enriched in the gene set of 16 nuclear regulators of mitochondrial genes.
The SH2B1 gene (Src-homology 2B adaptor protein 1 gene) is a solid candidate gene for obesity. Large scale GWAS studies depicted markers in the vicinity of the gene; animal models suggest a potential relevance for human body weight regulation.
We performed a mutation screen for variants in the SH2B1 coding sequence in 95 extremely obese children and adolescents. Detected variants were genotyped in independent childhood and adult study groups (up to 11,406 obese or overweight individuals and 4,568 controls). Functional implications on STAT3 mediated leptin signalling of the detected variants were analyzed in vitro.
We identified two new rare mutations and five known SNPs (rs147094247, rs7498665, rs60604881, rs62037368 and rs62037369) in SH2B1. Mutation g.9483C/T leads to a non-synonymous, non-conservative exchange in the beta (βThr656Ile) and gamma (γPro674Ser) splice variants of SH2B1. It was additionally detected in two of 11,206 (extremely) obese or overweight children, adolescents and adults, but not in 4,506 population-based normal-weight or lean controls. The non-coding mutation g.10182C/A at the 3’ end of SH2B1 was only detected in three obese individuals. For the non-synonymous SNP rs7498665 (Thr484Ala) we observed nominal over-transmission of the previously described risk allele in 705 obesity trios (nominal p = 0.009, OR = 1.23) and an increased frequency of the same allele in 359 cases compared to 429 controls (nominal p = 0.042, OR = 1.23). The obesity risk-alleles at Thr484Ala and βThr656Ile/γPro674Ser had no effect on STAT3 mediated leptin receptor signalling in splice variants β and γ.
The rare coding mutation βThr656Ile/γPro674Ser (g.9483C/T) in SH2B1 was exclusively detected in overweight or obese individuals. Functional analyzes did not reveal impairments in leptin signalling for the mutated SH2B1.
SH2B1; Obesity; BMI; rs7498665; Mutation screen
Multiple genetic variants have been associated with adult obesity and a few with severe obesity in childhood; however, less progress has been made to establish genetic influences on common early-onset obesity. We performed a North American-Australian-European collaborative meta-analysis of fourteen studies consisting of 5,530 cases (≥95th percentile of body mass index (BMI)) and 8,318 controls (<50th percentile of BMI) of European ancestry. Taking forward the eight novel signals yielding association with P < 5×10−6 in to nine independent datasets (n = 2,818 cases and 4,083 controls) we observed two loci that yielded a genome wide significant combined P-value, namely near OLFM4 on 13q14 (rs9568856; P=1.82×10−9; OR=1.22) and within HOXB5 on 17q21 (rs9299; P=3.54×10−9; OR=1.14). Both loci continued to show association when including two extreme childhood obesity cohorts (n = 2,214 cases and 2,674 controls). Finally, these two loci yielded directionally consistent associations in the GIANT meta-analysis of adult BMI1.
Doublecortin and calmodulin like kinase 1 (DCLK1) is implicated in synaptic plasticity and neurodevelopment. Genetic variants in DCLK1 are associated with cognitive traits, specifically verbal memory and general cognition. We investigated the role of DCLK1 variants in three psychiatric disorders that have neuro-cognitive dysfunctions: schizophrenia (SCZ), bipolar affective disorder (BP) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We mined six genome wide association studies (GWASs) that were available publically or through collaboration; three for BP, two for SCZ and one for ADHD. We also genotyped the DCLK1 region in additional samples of cases with SCZ, BP or ADHD and controls that had not been whole-genome typed. In total, 9895 subjects were analysed, including 5308 normal controls and 4,587 patients (1,125 with SCZ, 2,496 with BP and 966 with ADHD). Several DCLK1 variants were associated with disease phenotypes in the different samples. The main effect was observed for rs7989807 in intron 3, which was strongly associated with SCZ alone and even more so when cases with SCZ and ADHD were combined (P-value = 4×10−5 and 4×10−6, respectively). Associations were also observed with additional markers in intron 3 (combination of SCZ, ADHD and BP), intron 19 (SCZ+BP) and the 3′UTR (SCZ+BP). Our results suggest that genetic variants in DCLK1 are associated with SCZ and, to a lesser extent, with ADHD and BP. Interestingly the association is strongest when SCZ and ADHD are considered together, suggesting common genetic susceptibility. Given that DCLK1 variants were previously found to be associated with cognitive traits, these results are consistent with the role of DCLK1 in neurodevelopment and synaptic plasticity.
Data from meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies provided evidence for an association of polymorphisms with body mass index (BMI), and gene expression results indicated a role of these variants in the hypothalamus. It was consecutively hypothesized that these associations might be evoked by a modulation of nutritional intake or energy expenditure.
It was our aim to investigate the association of these genetic factors with BMI in a large homogenous population-based sample to explore the association of these polymorphisms with lifestyle factors related to nutritional intake or energy expenditure, and whether such lifestyle factors could be mediators of the detected single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-association with BMI. It was a further aim to compare the proportion of BMI explained by genetic factors with the one explained by lifestyle factors.
The association of seven polymorphisms in or near the genes NEGR1, TMEM18, MTCH2, FTO, MC4R, SH2B1and KCTD15 was analyzed in 12 462 subjects from the population-based MONICA/KORA Augsburg study. Information on lifestyle factors was based on standardized questionnaires. For statistical analysis, regression-based models were used.
The minor allele of polymorphism rs6548238 C>T (TMEM18) was associated with lower BMI (−0.418 kg/m2, p=1.22×10−8), and of polymorphisms rs9935401 G>A (FTO) and rs7498665 A>G (SH2B1) with increased BMI (0.290 kg/m2, p=2.85×10−7 and 0.145 kg/m2, p=9.83×10−3). The other polymorphisms were not significantly associated. Lifestyle factors were correlated with BMI and explained 0.037 % of the BMI variance as compared to 0.006 % of explained variance by the associated genetic factors. The genetic variants associated with BMI were not significantly associated with lifestyle factors and there was no evidence of lifestyle factors mediating the SNP-BMI association.
Our data first confirm the findings for TMEM18 with BMI in a single study on adults and also confirm the findings for FTO and SH2B1. There was no evidence for a direct SNP-lifestyle association.
TMEM18; FTO; SH2B1; lifestyle; obesity
The close correspondence between energy intake and expenditure over prolonged time periods, coupled with an apparent protection of the level of body adiposity in the face of perturbations of energy balance, has led to the idea that body fatness is regulated via mechanisms that control intake and energy expenditure. Two models have dominated the discussion of how this regulation might take place. The set point model is rooted in physiology, genetics and molecular biology, and suggests that there is an active feedback mechanism linking adipose tissue (stored energy) to intake and expenditure via a set point, presumably encoded in the brain. This model is consistent with many of the biological aspects of energy balance, but struggles to explain the many significant environmental and social influences on obesity, food intake and physical activity. More importantly, the set point model does not effectively explain the ‘obesity epidemic’ – the large increase in body weight and adiposity of a large proportion of individuals in many countries since the 1980s. An alternative model, called the settling point model, is based on the idea that there is passive feedback between the size of the body stores and aspects of expenditure. This model accommodates many of the social and environmental characteristics of energy balance, but struggles to explain some of the biological and genetic aspects. The shortcomings of these two models reflect their failure to address the gene-by-environment interactions that dominate the regulation of body weight. We discuss two additional models – the general intake model and the dual intervention point model – that address this issue and might offer better ways to understand how body fatness is controlled.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a highly heritable young-onset psychiatric illness the etiology of which remains unknown. Estrogen alpha and beta receptors, encoded by ESR1 and ESR2 genes, are involved in food intake regulation and eating behavior, and may have a potential role in AN. We performed a family-based association study of 17 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) encompassing ESR1 and ESR2 genes in a cohort of 321 French AN families. We attempted to replicate this finding in a cohort of 41 restrictive AN (RAN) families and in a population-based study of 693 young women. Using the transmission disequilibrium test, a significant over-transmission was detected between AN and ESR1 rs726281 and rs2295193. These SNPs and another among ESR1 were more specifically associated with the RAN subtype (rs726281, p=0.005, odds ratio (OR)=2.1, 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=1.2–3.6; rs3798577, p=0.021, OR=1.6, 95% CI=1.1–2.3; and rs2295193, p=0.007, OR=1.7, 95% CI=1.2–2.5). A large eight-SNPs haplotype of ESR1 gene was also associated with AN (p<0.0001, OR=3.1, 95% CI=1.8–5.1). Association of ESR1 SNPs and RAN was driven by paternal over-transmissions (p<0.0001, OR=3.7, 95% CI=1.9–7.3). Furthermore, we confirmed the preferential paternal over-transmission of the ESR1 rs726281 on the independent German sample of 41 RAN trios (p=0.025, OR=3, 95% CI=1.1–8.3). Finally, rs3798577 was associated with eating disorders in a population-based sample of 693 women (p<0.01). Our findings are strongly in favor of an association between ESR1 polymorphisms and AN. In particular, ESR1 gene confers a high risk of vulnerability to the restrictive subtype of AN, and suggests that the estrogen pathway has to be further analyzed in AN.
anorexia nervosa; restrictive type; binge-eating/purging type; estrogen receptors; transmission disequilibrium test; population-based sample; Eating / Metabolic Disorders; Neurogenetics; Biological Psychiatry; Molecular & Cellular Neurobiology; Anorexia nervosa; estrogen receptors; restrictive type; binge-eating / purging type; transmission disequilibrium test; population-based sample
Recent genome-wide association (GWA) analyses have identified common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are associated with obesity. However, the reported genetic variation in obesity explains only a minor fraction of the total genetic variation expected to be present in the population. Thus many genetic variants controlling obesity remain to be identified. The aim of this study was to use GWA followed by multiple stepwise validations to identify additional genes associated with obesity.
We performed a GWA analysis in 164 morbidly obese subjects (BMI:body mass index > 40 kg/m2) and 163 Swedish subjects (> 45 years) who had always been lean. The 700 SNPs displaying the strongest association with obesity in the GWA were analyzed in a second cohort comprising 460 morbidly obese subjects and 247 consistently lean Swedish adults. 23 SNPs remained significantly associated with obesity (nominal P< 0.05) and were in a step-wise manner followed up in five additional cohorts from Sweden, France, and Germany together comprising 4214 obese and 5417 lean or population-based control individuals. Three samples, n = 4133, were used to investigate the population-based associations with BMI. Gene expression in abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue in relation to obesity was investigated for14 adults.
Potassium channel, calcium activated, large conductance, subfamily M, alpha member (KCNMA1) rs2116830*G and BDNF rs988712*G were associated with obesity in five of six investigated case-control cohorts. In meta-analysis of 4838 obese and 5827 control subjects we obtained genome-wide significant allelic association with obesity for KCNMA1 rs2116830*G with P = 2.82 × 10-10 and an odds ratio (OR) based on cases vs controls of 1.26 [95% C.I. 1.12-1.41] and for BDNF rs988712*G with P = 5.2 × 10-17and an OR of 1.36 [95% C.I. 1.20-1.55]. KCNMA1 rs2116830*G was not associated with BMI in the population-based samples. Adipose tissue (P = 0.0001) and fat cell (P = 0.04) expression of KCNMA1 was increased in obesity.
We have identified KCNMA1 as a new susceptibility locus for obesity, and confirmed the association of the BDNF locus at the genome-wide significant level.
Obesity is globally prevalent and highly heritable, but the underlying
genetic factors remain largely elusive. To identify genetic loci for
obesity-susceptibility, we examined associations between body mass index (BMI)
and ~2.8 million SNPs in up to 123,865 individuals, with targeted follow-up of
42 SNPs in up to 125,931 additional individuals. We confirmed 14 known
obesity-susceptibility loci and identified 18 new loci associated with BMI
(P<5×10−8), one of which
includes a copy number variant near GPRC5B. Some loci
(MC4R, POMC, SH2B1, BDNF) map near key hypothalamic
regulators of energy balance, and one is near GIPR, an incretin
receptor. Furthermore, genes in other newly-associated loci may provide novel
insights into human body weight regulation.
Heritability of obesity is substantial and recent meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have been successful in detecting several robustly associated genomic regions for obesity using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). However, taken together, the SNPs explain only a small proportion of the overall heritability. Copy number variations (CNVs) might contribute to the ‘missing heritability’. We searched genome-wide for association between common CNVs and early-onset extreme obesity. Four hundred and twenty-four case-parents obesity trios and an independent sample of 453 extremely obese children and adolescents and 435 normal-weight and lean adult controls were genotyped by the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0. We detected 20 common copy number variable regions (CNVRs) which were associated with obesity. The most promising CNVRs were followed-up in an independent sample of 365 obesity trios, confirming the association for two candidate CNVRs. We identified a common CNVR exclusively covering the three olfactory receptor genes OR4P4, OR4S2 and OR4C6 to be associated with obesity (combined P-value = 0.015 in a total of 789 families; odds ratio for the obesity effect allele = 1.19; 95% confidence interval = 1.016–1.394). We also replicated two common deletions (near NEGR1 and at chromosome 10q11.22) that have previously been reported to be associated with body weight. Additionally, we support a rare CNV on chromosome 16 that has recently been reported by two independent groups. However, rare CNVs had not been the focus of our study. We conclude that common CNVs are unlikely to contribute substantially to the genetic basis of early-onset extreme obesity.
Independent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) showed an obesogenic effect of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP; rs12970134 and rs17782313) more than 150 kb downstream of the melanocortin 4 receptor gene (MC4R). It is unclear if the SNPs directly influence MC4R function or expression, or if the SNPs are on a haplotype that predisposes to obesity or includes functionally relevant genetic variation (synthetic association). As both exist, functionally relevant mutations and polymorphisms in the MC4R coding region and a robust association downstream of the gene, MC4R is an ideal model to explore synthetic association.
We analyzed a genomic region (364.9 kb) encompassing the MC4R in GWAS data of 424 obesity trios (extremely obese child/adolescent and both parents). SNP rs12970134 showed the lowest p-value (p = 0.004; relative risk for the obesity effect allele: 1.37); conditional analyses on this SNP revealed that 7 of 78 analyzed SNPs provided independent signals (p≤0.05). These 8 SNPs were used to derive two-marker haplotypes. The three best (according to p-value) haplotype combinations were chosen for confirmation in 363 independent obesity trios. The confirmed obesity effect haplotype includes SNPs 3′ and 5′ of the MC4R. Including MC4R coding variants in a joint model had almost no impact on the effect size estimators expected under synthetic association.
A haplotype reaching from a region 5′ of the MC4R to a region at least 150 kb from the 3′ end of the gene showed a stronger association to obesity than single SNPs. Synthetic association analyses revealed that MC4R coding variants had almost no impact on the association signal. Carriers of the haplotype should be enriched for relevant mutations outside the MC4R coding region and could thus be used for re-sequencing approaches. Our data also underscore the problems underlying the identification of relevant mutations depicted by GWAS derived SNPs.
To assess comorbid DSM-IV-TR Axis I disorders in adolescent inpatients referred for treatment of substance use disorders.
151 patients (mean age 16.95 years, SD = 1.76; range 13 - 22) were consecutively assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) and standardized clinical questionnaires to assess mental disorders, symptom distress, psychosocial variables and detailed aspects of drug use. A consecutively referred subgroup of these 151 patients consisting of 65 underage patients (mean age 16.12, SD = 1.10; range 13 - 17) was additionally assessed with the modules for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder (CD) using The Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for school-aged children (K-SADS-PL).
128 (84.8%) of the 151 patients were dependent on at least one substance, the remaining patients fulfilled diagnostic criteria for abuse only. 40.5% of the participants fulfilled criteria for at least one comorbid present Axis I disorder other than substance use disorders (67.7% in the subgroup additionally interviewed with the K-SADS-PL). High prevalences of present mood disorder (19.2%), somatoform disorders (9.3%), and anxiety disorders (22.5%) were found. The 37 female participants showed a significantly higher risk for lifetime comorbid disorders; the gender difference was significantly pronounced for anxiety and somatoform disorders. Data from the underage subgroup revealed a high prevalence for present CD (41.5%). 33% of the 106 patients (total group) who were within the mandatory school age had not attended school for at least a two-month period prior to admission. In addition, 51.4% had been temporarily expelled from school at least once.
The present data validates previous findings of high psychiatric comorbidity in adolescent patients with substance use disorders. The high rates of school refusal and conduct disorder indicate the severity of psychosocial impairment.