Moderating effect of PLIN4 genetic variant on impulsivity traits in 5-year-old-children born small for gestational age

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2018 Oct;137:19-25. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2018.07.013. Epub 2018 Jul 27.


Poor fetal growth is associated with long-term behavioral, metabolic and psychiatric alterations, including impulsivity, insulin resistance, and mood disorders. However, the consumption of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) seems to be protective for this population, improving inhibitory control and behavioral reactivity. We investigated whether the presence of the A allele of rs8887 SNP (PLIN4 gene), known to be associated with increased sensitivity to the consumption of n-3 PUFAs, interacts with fetal growth influencing inhibitory control. 152 five-year-old children were genotyped and performed the Stop Signal Task (SSRT). There was a significant interaction between birth weight and the presence of the A allele on SSRT performance, in which lower birth weight associated with poorer inhibitory control only in non-carriers. These results suggest that a higher responsiveness to n-3 PUFAS protects small for gestational age children from developing poor response inhibition, highlighting that optimizing n-3 PUFA intake may benefit this population.

Keywords: Impulsivity; Inhibitory control; Lipid droplet storage,; Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Small for gestational age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Birth Weight / drug effects*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Fetal Development / drug effects
  • Fetal Development / genetics*
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perilipin-4 / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • PLIN4 protein, human
  • Perilipin-4