Objective: To examine interactions between physical activity and possibly functional variants of the genes encoding uncoupling proteins -2 and -3 in relation to body weight change. We hypothesize that physical inactivity acts synergistically with a 45 bp insertion variant in the 3'untranslated region (3'UTR) of the UCP2-gene and with a t-allele of codon -55 in the promoter of the UCP3-gene in relation to subsequent weight change.
Design: Population-based longitudinal study of cohorts of juvenile obese and nonobese men, who were identified at the mandatory draft board examination in Copenhagen and adjacent regions at a median age of 19 y in 1943-77 and later examined at general health surveys in 1981-83 and 1991-93. The juvenile obese cohort included 568 men who at the draft board had a BMI > or =31 kg/m2 and the cohort of controls included 717 randomly selected draftees.
Measurements: Height and weight were measured, and information about physical activity was collected from a self-administered questionnaire. The genotyping of the polymorphisms was performed using RFLP techniques. The main outcome measure was change in BMI during the 10-y follow-up period. Additional outcome measures were obesity, waist circumference and body fat mass index measured at follow-up.
Results: Physical activity, the 3'UTR insertion polymorphism and the -55 c/t polymorphism were not consistently associated with changes in BMI, and there were no evidence for interactions between the UCP-variants and physical activity in relation to changes in BMI. No evidence for interaction between the UCP-variants and physical activity was found in relation to the additional obesity measures.
Conclusion: This study does not support that interactions between physical activity and variants in the UCP2- or UCP3-gene are major determinants of subsequent weight changes in Danish Caucasian men.