Genetic polymorphisms in adipokine genes and the risk of obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Feb;20(2):396-406. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.148. Epub 2011 Jun 9.


Polymorphisms in adipokine genes, such as leptin (LEP), leptin receptor (LEPR), resistin (RETN), adiponectin (ADIPOQ), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) may be involved in the development of obesity. We conducted a systematic review of published evidence on the association between different adipokine genes and the risk of obesity. Librarian-designed searches of PubMed and HuGeNet, review of reference lists from published reviews and content expert advice identified potentially eligible studies. The genotyping information and polymorphisms of different adipokine genes, numbers of genotyped cases and controls and frequencies of genotypes were extracted from 48 eligible studies included in this review. Twenty-one polymorphisms each associated with obesity in at least one study were identified. Polymorphisms in the adipokine genes, LEP, LEPR, and RETN were not associated with obesity susceptibility, whereas ADIPOQ G276T (T vs. G: odds ratio (OR), 1.59; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.39-1.81), IL-1β C3953T (CC vs. CT+TT: OR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.18-2.20), and TNF-α G308A (GG vs. GA+AA: OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.02-1.39) polymorphisms were associated with an increased risk of obesity. The IL-6 G174C polymorphism was also associated obesity when using allelic comparisons, the recessive genetic model and the dominant genetic model with OR (95% CI) of 1.95 (1.37-2.77), 1.44 (1.15-1.80), and 1.36 (1.16-1.59), respectively. No significant evidence of publication bias was present. However, these "null" results were underpowered due to a small pooled sample size, and analysis of additional case-control studies with larger sample sizes should provide further clarifications.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / genetics*
  • Adiponectin / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1beta / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Leptin / genetics
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Receptors, Leptin / genetics
  • Resistin / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics


  • Adipokines
  • Adiponectin
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Leptin
  • Receptors, Leptin
  • Resistin
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha