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Associations of the growth hormone receptor (GHR) gene polymorphisms with adiposity and IGF-I activity in adolescents

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Summary Objective: 

To explore the genetic effect of the GH receptor (GHR) on obesity and related metabolic parameters in Hong Kong Chinese adolescents. Context: 

Obesity is a growing global epidemic. Increasing evidence suggests that the GH-IGF-I axis plays an important role in regulating adiposity and insulin sensitivity. Design: 

We examined the associations of genetic variants of GHR with serum IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels as well as obesity-related metabolic traits in Hong Kong Chinese adolescents. Patients: 

Nine hundred and eighty-one randomly selected Hong Kong Chinese adolescents from 14 schools. Measurements: 

We genotyped 17 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) at GHR and measured serum IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels as well as obesity-related metabolic traits including fasting plasma glucose, insulin and lipid levels. Results: 

There were significant associations between rs4410646 and the body composition (P =0·0044) and blood pressure factor scores (P =0·00017). Carriers of the CC genotype had lower body mass index, percentage body fat, waist and hip circumferences than AC and AA genotype carriers (P =0·00030–0·0094). There was also association between rs7703713 and the IGF-I activity factor score (P =0·0033). The GA and AA carriers of rs7703713 had higher serum IGF-I, higher serum IGFBP-3 and higher IGF-I/IGFBP-3 molar ratio (P =0·00069–0·025). Haplotype analysis did not increase the significance of associations. Conclusion: 

Our results support the role of GHR gene polymorphisms in modulating adiposity and IGF-I activity in adolescents. Examination of interactions of these SNPs with lifestyle, environmental and perinatal factors may provide further insights into their long-term effects on obesity and metabolic risks.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medicine and Therapeutics 2: Department of Biochemistry 3: Department of Paediatrics

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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