Objective: The Pro12Ala polymorphism of the Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor gamma2 (PPARgamma2) gene has been inconsistently associated with body mass index variations and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). We investigated the impact of this polymorphism on obesity markers, lipid and glucose variables in a sample of French subjects and evaluated its possible role in the onset of NIDDM.
Design and subjects: Within the framework of the WHO-MONICA project, a population study composed of 1195 subjects aged 35-64 y was randomly sampled from the electoral rolls of the urban community of Lille, in northern France. Subjects receiving medical treatment for hypercholesterolemia, hypertension or diabetes mellitus were excluded for the analyses, to avoid any interferences between medical treatment and biological variables. This resulted in a sample size of 839 subjects (421 men/418 women, age=49.4+/-8.1 y, body mass index (BMI)=25.7+/-4.4 kg/m2). To evaluate the role of the Pro12Ala polymorphism in the onset of NIDDM, we evaluated its distribution in 170 Caucasian NIDDM subjects from a clinical series (117 men/53 women, age=62.3+/-9.0 y, BMI=30.1+/-3.6 kg/m2).
Measurements: The PPARgamma2 Pro12Ala polymorphism genotyping was carried out with allele specific oligonucleotides hybridisation. Data were statistically analysed for association with various obesity markers (body weight (BW), BMI, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), plasma leptin concentrations, lipid and glucose variables.
Results: In the WHO-MONICA population, the Ala allele frequency was 0.11. The presence of the Ala allele was significantly associated with higher body weight (P=0.002), BMI (P=0.02), height (P=0.02) and waist circumference (P=0.04). Increased plasma concentrations of total cholesterol (P=0.01), LDL-cholesterol (P=0.004) and apolipoprotein B (P=0.01) were also detected in Ala allele bearers. The distribution of the Pro12Ala polymorphism was similar in NIDDM subjects (Ala allele frequency: 0.10) and in the WHO-MONICA population subjects.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that genetic variability of PPARgamma2 affects body weight control and lipid homeostasis in humans and do not support a significant role for the PPARgamma2 Pro12Ala polymorphism in the aetiology of NIDDM. International Journal of Obesity (2000) 24, 195-199