Fat depot-specific mRNA expression of novel loci associated with waist-hip ratio.
Schleinitz D., Klöting N., Lindgren CM., Breitfeld J., Dietrich A., Schön MR., Lohmann T., Dreßler M., Stumvoll M., McCarthy MI., Blüher M., Kovacs P.
We hypothesized that genes within recently identified loci associated with waist-hip ratio (WHR) exhibit fat depot-specific mRNA expression, which correlates with obesity-related traits.Adipose tissue (AT) mRNA expression of 6 genes (TBX15/WARS2, STAB1, PIGC, ZNRF3 and GRB14) within these loci showing coincident cis-expression quantitative trait loci was measured in 222 paired samples of human visceral (vis) and subcutaneous (sc) AT. The relationship of mRNA expression levels with obesity-related quantitative traits was assessed by Pearson's correlation analyses. Multivariate linear relationships were assessed by generalized linear regression models.Whereas only PIGC, ZNFR3 and STAB1 mRNA expression in sc AT correlated nominally with WHR (P<0.05, adjusted for age and sex), mRNA expression of all studied genes in at least one of the fat depots correlated significantly with vis and/or sc fat area (P ranging from 0.05 to 4.0 × 10(6), adjusted for age and sex). Consistently, the transcript levels of WARS, PIGC and GRB14 were nominally associated with body mass index (BMI) (P ranging from 0.02 to 9.2 × 10(5), adjusted for age and sex). Moreover, independent of sex, obesity and diabetes status, differential expression between vis and sc AT was observed for all tested genes (P<0.01). Finally, the rs10195252 T-allele was nominally associated with increased GRB14 sc mRNA expression (P=0.025 after adjusting for age, sex and BMI).Our data including the inter-depot variability of mRNA expression suggests that genes within the WHR-associated loci might be involved in the regulation of fat distribution.