Visceral fat accumulation and metabolic syndrome in children: the impact of Trp64Arg polymorphism of the beta3-adrenergic receptor gene




To investigate the association between Trp64Arg polymorphism of the beta3-adrenergic receptor (ADRB3) gene and total fat mass, abdominal fat distribution, other metabolic derangements and metabolic syndrome (MS) in Japanese children.


Molecular screening of the ADRB3 gene polymorphism (Trp64Trp, Trp64Arg and Arg64Arg) was carried out in 132 children aged 6–12 years: 73 were obese (45 boys) and 59 were not obese (27 boys). Visceral fat (VF) and subcutaneous fat (SF) area were measured using magnetic resonance imaging, blood pressure, lipid and glucose profiles.


The frequencies of Arg carriers (Trp64Arg or Arg64Arg) were significantly higher in obese children with MS, compared to obese children without MS and nonobese children. In obese children, Arg carriers had significantly higher VF area, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride than Arg noncarriers (Trp64Trp). However, there were no differences in total fat mass and SF area between the two groups. In nonobese children, none of these parameters differed significantly between Arg carriers and noncarriers.


Trp64Arg polymorphism of the ADRB3 gene may affect VF accumulation and be associated with MS, a cluster of conditions involving aggravated lipid metabolism and higher blood pressure, in Japanese children.