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Do Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2 Genotypes Relate to Obesity and Eating Behavior?

Author(s): Orcun Avsar, Aysegul Kuskucu, Seda Sancak, Ece Genc

Genetic factors contribute to development of obesity and eating behavior. Vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2, SLC18A2) gene is a dopaminergic system gene that regulates dopamine neurotransmission, and may be a part of the pathogenesis of obesity and eating behavior. No previous studies have analyzed VMAT2 polymorphisms about obesity and eating behavior. In the current study, we investigated the association of rs363399 and rs4752045 with adult obesity and eating behavior in 448 subjects. No genetic association was found for VMAT2 polymorphisms and obesity. On the other hand, the C/C genotype of rs363399 and the C/G genotype of rs4752045 were significantly associated with eating behavior, particularly ‘eating for reward’ and significantly higher in obesity group (p<0.001). These results suggested that C/C and C/G genotypes might have an effect on eating behavior
(‘eating for need’ vs ‘eating for reward’) and might be involved in the development of obesity in an indirect way. Future studies are needed to replicate these findings in other populations.

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