Objectives: Obesity is a complex trait that is affected by both environmental and genetic risk factors. The β3 adrenergic receptor (ADRB3) is expressed in adipose tissue and plays a role in energy metabolism. A missense mutation on codon 64 of this gene (W64R) is associated with receptor malfunction. Previous studies examining the relation between this polymorphism and obesity produced inconsistent findings. The current study assessed the association between the W64R genotype and obesity-related phenotypes, including body weight, BMI, and serum triglycerides, cholesterol, and glucose.
Research Methods and Procedures: We determined the ADRB3 W64R genotypes and fasting serum lipid and glucose concentrations for 695 hypertensive adults (336 men, 359 women) from a rural county in Anhui Province, China. Multivariate linear regression models were fit to detect associations between the genetic polymorphism and obesity-related phenotypes.
Results: The ADRB3 W64R polymorphism was significantly associated with body weight and BMI in men but not in women. After controlling for potential confounding variables, men who were homozygous for the R64 allele were 11.8 kg heavier (p < 0.001) and had a BMI that was 3.7 kg/m2 greater (p = 0.001) than men who were homozygous for the W64 allele. Serum concentrations of lipids and glucose were found not associated with the genetic polymorphism.
Discussion: The ADRB3 R64 allele was associated with increased body weight and BMI in men but not in women. The genetic association was not modified by triglyceride, cholesterol, blood glucose, or blood pressure levels of the subjects.