The chronic over-activation of the endogenously produced cannabinoids in obesity has been demonstrated in several studies. A common 385C>A single nucleotide polymorphism of the fatty acid amide hydrolase, one the most important inactivating enzymes of endogenous cannabinoids, has been shown to be associated with obese phenotype. This study was designed to investigate the FAAH gene polymorphisms and to compare the obesity indices between different genotypes in Iranian overweight/obese women. A total of 180 healthy overweight/obese subjects (BMI = 25 to 40 kg/m2) and 86 normal weight individuals (BMI = 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2) were genotyped for 385 C/A polymorphism of FAAH using amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS)-PCR. Anthropometric indices including BMI, waist circumference, neck circumference, waist to height ratio, fat mass were evaluated. A written informed consent form was given by the participants. The genotype and allele frequencies were significantly different between the overweight/obese and control groups (P = 0.04). Significant differences were observed between the CC genotype and the AA+CA genotype regarding the anthropometric indices (P < 0.05). Compared to CC group, a higher BMI, WC, WHtR, NC and fat mass was identified in allele A carriers group. After adjusting for age, marital and physical activity status, it was revealed that having the CA/AA genotype increased the probability of obesity risk almost two times (P < 0.05, 95% CI 1.19-3.67). Our findings showed that the frequency of A allele was greater in overweight/obese individuals. Also, a mutation in FAAH gene was associated with higher anthropometric indices and the CA/AA genotype increased significantly the possibility of being obese in Iranian women.
Keywords: Endocannabinoids; Fatty acid amide hydrolase; Obesity; Polymorphism.