Association With Body Mass Index In Young Women, Psychiatric Symptoms, And Interaction With The Dopamine d2 Receptor (DRD2) Gene.

September 15, 1996

Genetic Variants of the Human Obesity Gene
Contact: Rachel Lisman,
rlisman@codon.nih.gov
301-496-6979

This article will be published in the September issue of Molecular Psychiatry, a peer-reviewed journal published by Stockton Press/Macmillan Press.

GENETIC VARIANTS OF THE HUMAN OBESITY (OB) GENE:
ASSOCIATION WITH BODY MASS INDEX IN YOUNG WOMEN, PSYCHIATRIC SYMPTOMS, AND INTERACTION WITH THE DOPAMINE D2 RECEPTOR (DRD2) GENE
EMBARGOED UNTIL SEPTEMBER 15, 1996 -- In a study reported in the current issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers at City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, California, USA and Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, USA examined a complex, genetically variable region (polymorphism) close to the human obesity (OB) gene and found that certain genetic variants next to the human OB gene are associated with obesity in young women, but not young men. They also found that the genetic variants at the OB gene were also associated in these women with depression and anxiety, two of the behaviors most often associated with obesity. The results suggest the depression was a direct result of the OB gene variants and not just secondary to the obesity.

The cloning and sequencing of the mouse and the human obesity (OB) genes have been greeted with enormous excitement. When mice have a defective OB gene on both chromosomes, they are very obese and treatment with leptin, the product of the OB gene, causes rapid weight loss. This led to the hope that obese humans also had a defective OB gene, and treatment with leptin would also cause weight loss. However, many subsequent studies have shown that obese humans have too much leptin, not too little, and no mutations of the OB gene itself were found. Thus, the OB gene - leptin story is far more complex than originally thought.

In 1993 DE Comings and colleagues found that variants of the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2), originally reported by K Blum and EP Noble as being associated with severe alcoholism, were also associated with obesity. Blum and Noble confirmed this association, and both groups found an association between the DRD2 gene and drug addiction. All three of these substances (alcohol, drugs and food), stimulate the reward pathways of the brain. Now Comings and coworkers found that the OB and DRD2 genes were additive in their effect on obesity in young women. Both genes combined accounted for 22% of the obesity in young women.

These results are consistent with obesity being the result of many different genes (polygenic), with a greater involvement of genetic factors in women and younger subjects, and suggest that variants of the OB gene are causally involved not only with human obesity but with its associated behavioral disorders. An independent commentary by Dr. Gerald J. LaHoste (University of California at Irvine, USA; FAX: + 1 714 824-2447; phone: +1 714 824-4722; e-mail: glahoste@parker.bio.uci.edu) also appears in the current issue of Molecular Psychiatry.

Authors: DE Comings, R Gade, J MacMurray, D Muhleman, P Johnson, R Verde, WR Peters. City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, California, USA and Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, USA Molecular Psychiatry 1996; vol. 1, issue 4 (September 1996).
***For information on the scientific aspects of the article please contact the author: Dr. David E. Comings, Department of Medical Genetics,
City of Hope National Medical Center,
1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010-0269, USA
phone: +1 (818) 359-8111; FAX: +1 (818) 301-8980

Editor: Julio Licinio, MD
Editorial assistant: Rachel Lisman
NIH, Bldg. 10/2D46, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892-1284, USA
phone: (301) 496-6885; FAX: +1 (301) 402-1561; e-mail: licinio@nih.gov

Publisher: Marija Vukovojac, phone and FAX: +44 1483 892119
e-mail: 100743.2265@Co mpuServe.COM


NIH/Office of the Director

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.