Am J Med Genet B.2014 Apr;165(3):245-253.

The interaction effect between BDNF val66met polymorphism and obesity on executive functions and frontal structure.

Idoia Marqués-Iturria a,b, Maite Garolera c,d, Roser Pueyo a,b,c, Bàrbara Segura a,c, Imma Hernan g, Isabel García-García a,b, Consuelo Sánchez-Garre h, María Vernet-Vernet f, María José Sender-Palacios f, Ana Narberhaus a, Mar Ariza a, Carme Junqué a,c,e, María Ángeles Jurado a,b,c,*

a Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
b Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (IR3C), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
c Grup de Recerca Consolidat en Neuropsicologia (SGR0941), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
d Neuropsychology Unit, Hospital de Terrassa, Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, Terrassa, Spain
f CAP Terrassa Nord, Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, Terrassa, Spain
e Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain
g Molecular Genetics Unit, Hospital de Terrassa, Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, Terrassa, Spain
h Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Hospital de Terrassa, Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, Terrassa, Spain

 

ABSTRACT

The prevalence of obesity is increasing worldwide. Previous research has shown a relationship between obesity and both executive functioning alterations and frontal cortex volume reductions. The Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor val66met polymorphism, involved in eating behavior, has also been associated with executive functions and prefrontal cortex volume, but to date it has not been studied in relation to obesity. Our aim is to elucidate whether the interaction between the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor val66met polymorphism and obesity status influences executive performance and frontal-subcortical brain structure. Sixty-one volunteers, 34 obese and 27 controls, age range 12 to 40, participated in the study. Participants were assigned to one of two genotype groups (met allele carriers, n=16, or non-carriers, n=45). Neuropsychological assessment comprised the Trail Making Test, the Stroop Test and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, all tasks that require response inhibition and cognitive flexibility. Subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging in a Siemens TIM TRIO 3T scanner and images were analyzed using the FreeSurfer software. Analyses of covariance controlling for age and intelligence showed an effect of the obesity-by-genotype interaction on perseverative responses on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test as well as on precentral and caudal middle frontal cortical thickness: obese met allele carriers showed more perseverations on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and lower frontal thickness than obese non-carriers and controls. In conclusion, the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor may play an important role in executive functioning and frontal brain structure in obesity.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Our group focuses on the study of brain structural and functional basis related to obesity. Our studies have demonstrated a pattern of functional alterations related to obesity compared to normal-weight participants, including increased resting state connectivity strength in the salience network (García-García et al., 2013), reduced functional connectivity in response to reward cues (García-García et al., 2013), genetic interactions with executive function performance (Ariza et al., 2012; Marqués-Iturria et al., 2014) and structurally, frontal cortical thinning related to obesity (Marqués-Iturria et al., 2013).

 

References:

  1. Ariza, M., Garolera, M., Jurado, M.A., Garcia-Garcia, I., Hernan, I., Sanchez-Garre, C., Vernet-Vernet, M., Sender-Palacios, M.J., Marques-Iturria, I., Pueyo, R., Segura, B., Narberhaus, A., 2012. Dopamine genes (DRD2/ANKK1-TaqA1 and DRD4-7R) and executive function: their interaction with obesity. PLoS One 7, e41482.
  2. Garcia-Garcia, I., Jurado, M.A., Garolera, M., Segura, B., Sala-Llonch, R., Marques-Iturria, I., Pueyo, R., Sender-Palacios, M.J., Vernet-Vernet, M., Narberhaus, A., Ariza, M., Junque, C., 2013b. Alterations of the salience network in obesity: a resting-state fMRI study. Hum Brain Mapp 34, 2786-2797.
  3. Garcia-Garcia, I., Jurado, M.A., Garolera, M., Segura, B., Marques-Iturria, I., Pueyo, R., Vernet-Vernet, M., Sender-Palacios, M.J., Sala-Llonch, R., Ariza, M., Narberhaus, A., Junque, C., 2013c. Functional connectivity in obesity during reward processing. Neuroimage 66C, 232-239.
  4. Marques-Iturria, I., Garolera, M., Pueyo, R., Segura, B., Hernan, I., Garcia-Garcia, I., Sanchez-Garre, C., Vernet-Vernet, M., Sender-Palacios, M.J., Narberhaus, A., Ariza, M., Junque, C., Jurado, M.A., 2014. The interaction effect between BDNF val66met polymorphism and obesity on executive functions and frontal structure. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 165B, 245-253.
  5. Marques-Iturria, I., Pueyo, R., Garolera, M., Segura, B., Junque, C., Garcia-Garcia, I., Jose Sender-Palacios, M., Vernet-Vernet, M., Narberhaus, A., Ariza, M., Jurado, M.A., 2013. Frontal cortical thinning and subcortical volume reductions in early adulthood obesity. Psychiatry Res 214, 109-115.
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