Objectives: To investigate the association of polymorphisms in SLC6A4 and MAOA genes with overweight (including obesity).
Material and methods: Young adults (n = 535) of Portuguese origin were genotyped for the SLC6A4 polymorphisms 5-HTTLPR and STin2 and a MAOA VNTR. BMI and body fat percentage were measured and a questionnaire was used to assess individual's sport practicing habits.
Results: In whole study sample, haplotype-based analysis revealed significant association with overweight/obesity for the individual 5-HTTLPR/Stin2 haplotype L10 (p = 0.04). In men, the MAOA 3R genotype was nominally associated with body fat (p = 0.04). In inactive individuals, overweight/obesity was found significantly associated with 5-HTTLPR L-allele (p = 0.01) and nominally associated with STin2 10-allele (p = 0.03). A significant association was also found testing for all haplotype effects (χ(2 )= 8.7; p = 0.03).
Conclusions: We found some evidences for the association of SLC6A4 and MAOA genes with measures of obesity. Our results suggest physical inactivity accentuates the influence of SLC6A4 polymorphisms on obesity risk.
Keywords: 5-HTTLPR and STin2 polymorphisms; MAOA VNTR polymorphism; Portugal; overweight and obesity; serotonin transporter.