Scientific publications

Melanocortin-4 Receptor and Lipocalin 2 Gene Variants in Spanish Children with Abdominal Obesity: Effects on BMI-SDS After a Lifestyle Intervention

Apr 26, 2019 | Magazine: Nutrients

Morell-Azanza L (1,2), Ojeda-Rodríguez A (3,4), Giuranna J (5), Azcona-SanJulián MC (6,7), Hebebrand J (8), Marti A (9,10,11), Hinney A (12).


Mutations leading to a reduced function of the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) exert a major gene effect on extreme obesity.

Recently it was shown that the bone derived hormone lipocalin 2 (LCN2) binds to the MC4R and activates a MC4R dependent anorexigenic pathway. We identified mutations in both genes and screened the effects of MC4R and LCN2 mutations on eating behavior and weight change after a lifestyle intervention.

One hundred and twelve children (11.24 ± 2.6 years, BMI-SDS 2.91 ± 1.07) with abdominal obesity participated in a lifestyle intervention. MC4R and LCN2 coding regions were screened by Sanger sequencing.

Eating behavior was assessed at baseline with the Children Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ). We detected three previously described non-synonymous MC4R variants (Glu42Lys, Thr150Ile, and Arg305Gln) and one non-synonymous polymorphism (Ile251Leu). Regarding LCN2, one known non-synonymous variant (Thr124Met) was detected.

Eating behavior was described in carriers of the MC4R and LCN2 mutation and in non-carriers. MC4R and LCN2 mutations were detected in 2.42% and 0.84%, respectively, of Spanish children with abdominal obesity. A number of subjects with functional mutation variants in MC4R and LCN2 were able to achieve a reduction in BMI-SDS after a lifestyle intervention.

CITATION  Nutrients. 2019 Apr 26;11(5). pii: E960. doi: 10.3390/nu11050960