Aim: Visceral fat accumulation plays an integral role in morbidity and mortality rates by increasing the risk of developing metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. New genetic loci associated with fat distribution, measured by waist-hip ratios and computed tomography (CT), have recently been identified by genome-wide association studies in European-descent populations. This study used CT to investigate whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that confer susceptibility to fat distribution are associated with visceral fat area (VFA) and subcutaneous fat area (SFA) in the Japanese population.
Methods: We measured the VFAs and SFAs of 1424 obese Japanese subjects (BMI≥25 kg/m2, 635 men and 789 women) that were genotyped at 15 SNPs, namely, TBX15 rs984222, DNM3 rs1011731, LYPLAL1 rs4846567, GRB14 rs10195252, NISCH rs6784615, ADAMTS9 rs6795735, CPEB4 rs6861681, LY86 rs1294421, VEGFA rs6905288, RSPO3 rs9491696, NFE2L3 rs1055144, ITPR2 rs718314, HOXC13 rs1443512, ZNRF3 rs4823006 and THNSL2 rs1659258.
Results: The G-allele of LYPLAL1 rs4846567 was borderline associated with an increased ratio of VFA to SFA (V/S ratio; p= 0.0020). LYPLAL1 rs4846567 had a stronger effect on the V/S ratio in women (p= 0.0078) than in men (p= 0.12); however, neither result was significant after Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. NISCH rs6784615 was nominally associated with increased VFA (p=0.040) and V/S ratio (p= 0.020). The other SNPs analyzed were not significantly associated with body mass index (BMI), VFA, or SFA.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that LYPLAL1 rs4846567 and NISCH rs6784615 may influence fat distribution in the Japanese population.