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Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Dec;37(12):1539-44. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2013.21. Epub 2013 Mar 12.

Polymorphisms of matrix metalloproteinase gene and adiposity indices in European children: results of the IDEFICS study.

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Research Laboratories, Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura 'Giovanni Paolo II', Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Campobasso, Italy.



We investigated the relationship between matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP3) polymorphisms and adiposity indices in European children of the IDEFICS (Identification and Prevention of Dietary- and Lifestyle-Induced Health Effects in Children and Infants) project.


A total of 16‚ÄČ224 Caucasian children (2-9 years) were recruited into a population-based survey from eight European countries. In all, 4540 children were randomly selected for genetic studies (T0); 3238 children were re-examined 2 years later (T1). Anthropometric measures were collected by standardized protocols at T0 and T1.


Six variants of MMP3 gene were genotyped. Homozygotes for the variant A allele of rs646910 and for the H3 haplotype had higher hip circumference (P=0.002 and 0.001; age, sex and country adjusted) at T0. The association remained significant after false discovery rate (FDR) correction. At T1, subjects carrying rs646910 A/A genotype or H3/H3 diplotype showed significantly higher values of body mass index, waist and hip circumference and sum of tricipital and subscapular skinfolds, all associations remaining significant after FDR correction (P=0.020-0.048).


We showed for the first time an association between the MMP3 rs646910 variant and indices of adiposity in European children, highlighting the involvement of metalloproteinase genes in adipose tissue remodeling and growth.

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