Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Obesity is a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability, though current knowledge of causal biologic underpinnings is lacking. Through the regulation of energy homeostasis and interactions with adiposity and gut signals, the brain is thought to play a significant role in the development of this disorder. While neuroanatomical variation has been associated with obesity, it is unclear if this relationship is influenced by common genetic mechanisms. In this study, we sought genetic components that influence both brain anatomy and body mass index (BMI) to provide further insight into the role of the brain in energy homeostasis and obesity. METHODS: MRI images of brain anatomy were acquired in 839 Mexican American individuals from large extended pedigrees. Bivariate linkage and quantitative analyses were performed in SOLAR. RESULTS: Genetic factors associated with an increased BMI were also associated with a reduced cortical surface area and subcortical volume. We identified two genome-wide quantitative trait loci that influenced BMI and the ventral diencephalon volume, and BMI and the supramarginal gyrus surface area, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This study represents the first genetic analysis seeking evidence of pleiotropic effects acting on both brain anatomy and BMI. Our results suggest that a region on chromosome 17 contributes to the development of obesity, potentially through leptin-induced signaling in the hypothalamus, and that a region on chromosome 3 appears to jointly influence the food-related reward circuitry and the supramarginal gyrus.

Original publication

DOI

10.1159/000353953

Type

Journal article

Journal

Hum Hered

Publication Date

2013

Volume

75

Pages

136 - 143

Keywords

Adult, Body Mass Index, Brain, Cerebral Cortex, Endophenotypes, Female, Genetic Linkage, Genetic Pleiotropy, Humans, Inheritance Patterns, Male, Obesity