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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Feb;94(2):596-602. doi: 10.1210/jc.2008-1592. Epub 2008 Nov 4.

Increased recovery rates of phosphocreatine and inorganic phosphate after isometric contraction in oxidative muscle fibers and elevated hepatic insulin resistance in homozygous carriers of the A-allele of FTO rs9939609.

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Steno Diabetes Center, Niels Steensens vej 2, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark.



Recent studies identified the rs9939609 A-allele of the FTO (fat mass and obesity associated) gene as being associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. We studied the role of the A-allele in the regulation of peripheral organ functions involved in the pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes.


Forty-six young men underwent a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp with excision of skeletal muscle biopsies, an iv glucose tolerance test, 31phosphorous magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and 24-h whole body metabolism was measured in a respiratory chamber.


The FTO rs9939609 A-allele was associated with elevated fasting blood glucose and plasma insulin, hepatic insulin resistance, and shorter recovery half-times of phosphocreatine and inorganic phosphate after exercise in a primarily type I muscle. These relationships--except for fasting insulin--remained significant after correction for body fat percentage. The risk allele was not associated with fat distribution, peripheral insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, 24-h energy expenditure, or glucose and fat oxidation. The FTO genotype did not influence the mRNA expression of FTO or a set of key nuclear or mitochondrially encoded genes in skeletal muscle during rest.


Increased energy efficiency--and potentially increased mitochondrial coupling--as suggested by faster recovery rates of phosphocreatine and inorganic phosphate in oxidative muscle fibers may contribute to the increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in homozygous carriers of the FTO A-risk allele. Hepatic insulin resistance may represent the key metabolic defect responsible for mild elevations of fasting blood glucose associated with the FTO phenotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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