Journal Article

Genetics of Leptin and Obesity: A HuGE Review

Valentina Paracchini, Paola Pedotti and Emanuela Taioli

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 162, issue 2, pages 101-114
Published in print July 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online July 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Genetics of Leptin and Obesity: A HuGE Review

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Leptin is an important regulator of the mass of adipose tissue and of body weight; it operates by inhibiting food intake and stimulating energy expenditure. Some polymorphic genes involved in the regulation of leptin—the leptin gene (LEP A19G), the leptin receptor gene (LEPR Q223R, K109R, and K656N), and the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma gene (PPARG P12A and C161T)—have been investigated as possible factors associated with obesity. Allelic frequencies of these polymorphisms show ethnic variation. The authors performed a meta-analysis of the available data on the association between these polymorphisms and obesity based on case-control studies. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for obesity associated with leptin polymorphisms were calculated by using both fixed- and random-effects models. Results suggest no evidence of association between the genes under study and obesity. The lack of association could be due to the complex pathogenesis of obesity, which involves a number of genetic and environmental factors. Large studies including testing of multiple genes in both obese and lean subjects, with epidemiologic data on dietary habits in different ethnic groups, are necessary to better understand the role of leptin in regulating weight in human populations.

Keywords: epidemiology; genetics; LEP; LEPR; leptin; meta-analysis; obesity; PPARG; BMI, body mass index; CI, confidence interval; LEP, leptin gene; LEPR, leptin receptor gene; PPARG, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma gene

Journal Article.  8838 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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