ESPE Abstracts (2014) 82 P-D-3-1-760

Association of Ghrelin Gene Polymorphisms with Obesity in Japanese Children

Ikuyo Itoh, Hisakazu Nakajima, Kazuki Kodo, Satoru Sugimoto, Kitaro Kosaka & Hajime Hosoi


Department of Pediatrics, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan


Background: Recently, ghrelin has attracted attention as a hormone connected with appetite. The relationship between ghrelin genetic polymorphisms and obesity has been analyzed in adults, but the influence of these SNPs on obesity in children is uncertain.

Objective: We perform SNP analysis of the ghrelin gene and examine its relationship with the childhood obesity.

Population: We analyzed 35 patients (27 boys, eight girls) treated in our pediatric obesity clinic from 2010 to 2014. The average age at the first visit was 10.9 years old (range, 6–18 years old).

Method: We selected three SNPs of the ghrelin gene: g.A-604G (rs27647), g.C-501A (rs26802), and g.C247A Leu72Met (rs696217). The SNPs were genotyped using ABI 7500 Fast Real-Time PCR System and Taqman® SNP Genotyping Assays.

Results: The ghrelin variant, Leu72Met, showed associations with total serum cholesterol (P=0.003) and LDL cholesterol level (P=0.007). The mean levels of each tended to be higher in obese children with heterozygous Leu72Met. The relationship between the SNPs and HOMA-IR index was not seen in children, although g.A-604G and Leu72Met were related to the insulin resistance in adults. Fasting glucose levels tended to be high in obese children with heterozygous g.C-501A, compared with those with homozygous g.C-501A (P=0.05).

Conclusion: Our observation suggests a protective role of Leu72Leu against hypercholesterolemia in childhood obesity. However, significant associations between SNPs of ghrelin gene and BMI were not observed. We are planning to examine the relationship between diet and SNPs in childhood obesity. Future studies on a larger sample size are needed for more definitive conclusions.

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