4 years ago

Rs12970134 near <i>MC4R</i> is associated with appetite and beverage intake in overweight and obese children: A family-based association study in Chinese population

Shuo Wang, Nitesh V. Chawla, Jieyun Song, Jun Ma, Haijun Wang, Yide Yang

by Shuo Wang, Jieyun Song, Yide Yang, Nitesh V. Chawla, Jun Ma, Haijun Wang


Recent studies indicated that eating behaviors are under genetic influence, and the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) gene polymorphisms can affect the total energy intake and the consumption of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Our study aims at investigating the association of the MC4R polymorphism with appetite and food intake among Chinese children.


A family-based association study was conducted among 151 Chinese trios whose offsprings were overweight/obese children aged 9–15 years. The rs12970134 near MC4R was genotyped, and the Children Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ) and a self-designed questionnaire measuring food intake were performed. The FBAT and PBAT software packages were used.


The family-based association analysis showed that there was a significant association between rs12970134 and obesity (Z = 2.449, P = 0.014). After adjusting for age, gender and standardized BMI, rs12970134 was significantly associated with food responsiveness (FR) among children (β'b = 0.077, Pb = 0.028), and with satiety responsiveness (SR) in trios (P = -0.026). The polymorphism was associated with beverage intake (β'b = 0.331, Pb = 0.00016 in children; P = 0.043 in trios), but not significantly associated with vegetable, fruit or meat intake (P>0.050). We further found a significant mediation effect among the rs12970134, FR and beverage intake (b = 0.177, P = 0.047).


Our study is the first to report that rs12970134 near MC4R was associated with appetite and beverage intake, and food responsiveness could mediate the effect of rs12970134 on beverage intake in overweight and obese Chinese children population. Further studies are needed to uncover the genetic basis for eating behaviors, which could lead to develop and implement effective interventional strategies early in life.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177983

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