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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2006 Sep;113(9):1279-85. Epub 2005 Dec 16.

Association of ghrelin receptor gene polymorphism with bulimia nervosa in a Japanese population.

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Department of Clinical Physiology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo, Japan.


Eating disorders (EDs) have a highly heterogeneous etiology and multiple genetic factors might contribute to their pathogenesis. Ghrelin, a novel growth hormone-releasing peptide, enhances appetite and increases food intake, and human ghrelin plasma levels are inversely correlated with body mass index. In the present study, we examined the 171T/C polymorphism of the ghrelin receptor (growth hormone secretagogue receptor, GHSR) gene in patients diagnosed with EDs, because the subjects having ghrelin gene polymorphism (Leu72Met) was not detected in a Japanese population, previously. In addition, beta3 adrenergic receptor gene polymorphism (Try64Arg) and cholecystokinin (CCK)-A receptor (R) gene polymorphism (-81A/G, -128G/T), which are both associated with obesity, were investigated. The subjects consisted of 228 Japanese patients with EDs [96 anorexia nervosa (AN), 116 bulimia nervosa (BN) and 16 not otherwise specified (NOS)]. The age- and gender-matched control group consisted of 284 unrelated Japanese subjects. The frequency of the CC type of the GHSR gene was significantly higher in BN subjects than in control subjects (chi(2) = 4.47, p = 0.035, odds ratio = 2.05, Bonferroni correction: p = 0.070), while the frequency in AN subjects was not different from that in controls. The distribution of neither beta3 adrenergic receptor gene nor CCK-AR polymorphism differed between EDs and control subjects. Therefore, the CC type of GHSR gene polymorphism (171T/C) is a risk factor for BN, but not for AN.

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