This article is free to access.
Background and aims: Subcutaneous fat mass is negatively correlated with atherogenic risk factors, but its putative benefits remain controversial. We hypothesized that genetic variants that influence subcutaneous fat mass would modulate lipid and glucose metabolism and have interactions with lifestyles in Korean middle-aged adults with high visceral fat. Materials and methods: Subcutaneous fat mass was categorized by dividing the average of subscapular skin-fold thickness by BMI and its cutoff point was 1.2. Waist circumferences were used for representing visceral fat mass with Asian cutoff points. GWAS of subjects aged 40-65 years with high visceral fat (n = 3303) were conducted and the best gene-gene interactions from the genetic variants related to subcutaneous fat were selected and explored using the generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction. Genetic risk scores (GRS) were calculated by weighted GRS that was divided into low, medium and high groups. Results: Subjects with high subcutaneous fat did not have dyslipidemia compared with those with low subcutaneous fat, although both subject groups had similar amounts of total fat. The best model to influence subcutaneous fat included IL17A-rs4711998, ADCY2-rs326149, ESRRG-rs4846514, CYFIP2-rs733730, TCF7L2-rs7917983, ZNF766-rs41497444 and TGFBR3-rs7526590. The odds ratio (OR) for increasing subcutaneous fat was higher by 2.232 folds in the high-GRS group, after adjusting for covariates. However, total and LDL cholesterol, triglyceride and C-reactive protein concentrations in the circulation were not associated with GRS. Subjects with high-GRS had higher serum HDL cholesterol levels than those with low-GRS. Physical activity and GRS had an interaction with subcutaneous fat. In subjects with low physical activity, the odds ratio for high subcutaneous fat increased by 2.232, but subcutaneous fat deposition was not affected in the high-GRS group with high physical activity. Conclusion: Obese adults with high-GRS had more subcutaneous fat, but they did not show more dyslipidemia and inflammation compared to low-GRS. High physical activity prevented subcutaneous fat deposition in subjects with high GRS for subcutaneous fat.
Daily, J. W., Yang, H. J., Liu, M., Kim, M. J., & Park, S. (2019). Subcutaneous fat mass is associated with genetic risk scores related to proinflammatory cytokine signaling and interact with physical activity in middle-aged obese adults. Nutrition and Metabolism, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12986-019-0405-0