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Eur J Endocrinol. 2002 Oct;147(4):495-501.

Effect of the Pro12Ala polymorphism of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma-2 gene on adiposity, insulin sensitivity and lipid profile in the Spanish population.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine II, Hospital Universitario Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain.



To investigate the role of the Pro12Ala peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) gamma-2 polymorphism in the susceptibility to the insulin resistance syndrome and its metabolic complications in a population-based nationwide multicenter study in Spain.


464 unrelated adults (45.3% men and 54.7% women) aged between 35 and 64 years were randomly chosen from a nationwide population-based survey of obesity and related conditions including insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk factors.


Anthropometric determinations included: body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio, sagittal abdominal diameter; biochemical determinations included: fasting plasma glucose concentration and concentration 2 h after an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), total cholesterol, high and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, triglycerides, leptin and insulin. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were also measured. Genotyping of the PPARgamma-2 Pro12Ala polymorphism was determined by polymerase chain reaction and single strand conformation polymorphism analysis.


The Ala12 allele frequency was higher in obese men than in lean men (0.15 vs 0.08, P=0.03). Men carriers of the Ala12 allele had a higher BMI than non-carriers (38.9% vs 21.3%; adjusted odds ratio 2.36, 95% confidence interval 1.10-5.05, P=0.03). However, despite higher BMI obese men carriers of the Ala12 allele had lower sagittal abdominal diameter than Pro12 homozygotes (24.1+/-3.2 vs 26.3+/-2.5 cm, P=0.01). The Ala12 allele was associated with lower total triglycerides levels in the overall population and it was also associated with lower fasting insulin levels and a higher insulin sensitivity by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) in women.


Our results suggest that the Pro12Ala polymorphism of the PPARgamma-2 gene promotes peripheral deposition of adipose tissue and increased insulin sensitivity for a given BMI. The results in women might be due to their different adipose tissue distribution.

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