Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic variant is linked to obesity and insulin resistance

Date:
June 26, 2012
Source:
Endocrine Society
Summary:
A large study in people at risk of diabetes has found a direct association between the presence of a small genetic alteration in a hormone receptor and increased body fat and insulin resistance. The results suggest an adverse role for a previously described genetic variant, the BclI polymorphism.

A large study in people at risk of diabetes has found a direct association between the presence of a small genetic alteration in a hormone receptor and increased body fat and insulin resistance. The results, presented June 26 at The Endocrine Society's 94th Annual Meeting in Houston, suggest an adverse role for a previously described genetic variant, the BclI polymorphism.

"Our findings support the idea that even small variations in hormone receptor sensitivity can have metabolic implications, such as obesity or diabetes," said co-author Bastiaan Havekes, MD, PhD, of Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

"Endocrinologists should not just focus on hormone levels themselves. Taking into account hormone receptor sensitivity could help in better understanding hormone-mediated effects on metabolism," he said.

The inherited BclI polymorphism occurs in the gene encoding for the glucocorticoid receptor, which controls the actions of glucocorticoids, steroid hormones that affect every system in the body. This small variant makes the receptor more sensitive to glucocorticoids, resulting in greater effects with similar hormone levels, Havekes said.

The effects of this change appear to be similar to, although much smaller than, the excessive glucocorticoid exposure that can occur from certain medications or diseases, Havekes said. Such excess exposure can result in weight gain, especially around the abdomen, as well as in disturbed blood sugar metabolism. This exposure most often occurs from long-term use of prednisone or other glucocorticoid medications, which are widely used to treat inflammatory diseases or to suppress the immune system. It also can result from endocrine diseases such as Cushing's syndrome. Cushing's causes overproduction in the body of the glucocorticoid cortisol, often called the "stress hormone."

Patients in this study, however, did not have known excess exposure to glucocorticoids, according to Havekes. He and his co-investigators studied 1,228 adults who participated in one of two Dutch studies focusing on diabetes in the general population. More than half of the study participants had either prediabetes (23 percent) or Type 2 diabetes (33 percent). All subjects underwent genetic testing for the BclI polymorphism.

The researchers found that 519 subjects did not carry the alternative form of the gene, or G-allele, for the BclI polymorphism on either chromosome. Another 540 subjects were heterozygous carriers, meaning the G-allele was present on one of the two chromosomes. The remaining 169 subjects were homozygous carriers and therefore carried the G-allele on both chromosomes.

Those who had the BclI polymorphism on each chromosome had a significantly higher body mass index and larger waist and hip circumferences than did noncarriers or heterozygous carriers, the authors reported. This was reflected by greater insulin resistance, meaning that insulin is less effective at lowering blood glucose (blood sugar).

"Determining an individual's genetic risk profile for metabolic disease is of paramount importance to prevent development of cardiovascular diseases," he said. "Future studies concerning cardiovascular risk profiling should perhaps consider the BclI polymorphism."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Endocrine Society. "Genetic variant is linked to obesity and insulin resistance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626151107.htm>.
Endocrine Society. (2012, June 26). Genetic variant is linked to obesity and insulin resistance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626151107.htm
Endocrine Society. "Genetic variant is linked to obesity and insulin resistance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626151107.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins