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Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Aug;82(2):467-70.

Polymorphism of the 5-HT2A receptor gene and food intakes in children and adolescents: the Stanislas Family Study.

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  • 1From INSERM U525, Epidemiologic and Molecular Genetics of Cardiovascular Diseases, Faculté de Pharmacie, Nancy, France, and the Centre de Médecine Préventive, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France.



Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) is a key mediator in the control of food intake and is probably involved in the etiology of anorexia nervosa. An association between a polymorphism of the 5-HT receptor (5-HT2A) gene promoter (-1438G/A) and anorexia nervosa has been reported.


We investigated the relation between the -1438G/A polymorphism of the 5-HT(2A) gene and the energy and macronutrient intakes of children and adolescents.


This cross-sectional study included 370 children and adolescents aged 10-20 y (176 boys and 194 girls from 251 families) drawn from the Stanislas Family Study. Energy and macronutrient intakes were assessed by using 3-d food records. The -1438G/A polymorphism was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction and then by Hpa II digestion.


In the overall group, after adjustment for age, sex, weight, height, and family correlation, the A allele was significantly associated with lower energy (P for trend = 0.045) and with total, monounsaturated, and saturated fat intakes expressed in g/d (P for trend = 0.007, 0.005, and 0.006, respectively). Subjects with the GA genotype had intermediate values. In addition, genotype x sex and genotype x age interactions were not significant.


The 5-HT2A gene polymorphism in the promoter region is associated with energy and fat intakes in young people. This could be explained by the role of the serotonergic system as a determinant of food intakes and eating behavior.

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