The leptin receptor (LEPR) is associated with insulin resistance, a key feature of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Gene-fatty acid interactions may affect MetS risk. The objective was to investigate the relationship among LEPR polymorphisms, insulin resistance, and MetS risk and whether plasma fatty acids, a biomarker of dietary fatty acids, modulate this.

LEPR polymorphisms (rs10493380, rs1137100, rs1137101, rs12067936, rs1805096, rs2025805, rs3790419, rs3790433, rs6673324, and rs8179183), biochemical measurements, and plasma fatty acid profiles were determined in the LIPGENE-SU.VI.MAX study of MetS cases and matched controls (n = 1754). LEPR rs3790433 GG homozygotes had increased MetS risk compared with the minor A allele carriers [odds ratio (OR) = 1.65; 95% CI: 1.05-2.57; P = 0.028], which may be accounted for by their increased risk of elevated insulin concentrations (OR 2.40; 95% CI: 1.28-4.50; P = 0.006) and insulin resistance (OR = 2.15; 95% CI: 1.18-3.90; P = 0.012). Low (less than median) plasma (n-3) and high (n-6) PUFA status exacerbated the genetic risk conferred by GG homozygosity to hyperinsulinemia (OR 2.92-2.94) and insulin resistance (OR 3.40-3.47).

Interestingly, these associations were abolished against a high (n-3) or low (n-6) PUFA background. Importantly, we replicated some of these findings in an independent cohort. Homozygosity for the LEPR rs3790433 G allele was associated with insulin resistance, which may predispose to increased MetS risk.

Novel gene-nutrient interactions between LEPR rs3790433 and PUFA suggest that these genetic influences were more evident in individuals with low plasma (n-3) or high plasma (n-6) PUFA.

PMID: 20032477

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