A genetic contribution to circulating cytokines and obesity in children

Guowen Cai, Shelley A. Cole, Nancy F. Butte, C. Wayne Smith, Nitesh R. Mehta, V. Saroja Voruganti, J. Michael Proffitt, Anthony G. Comuzzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Cytokines are considered to be involved in obesity-related metabolic diseases. Study objectives are to determine the heritability of circulating cytokine levels, to investigate pleiotropy between cytokines and obesity traits, and to present genome scan results for cytokines in 1030 Hispanic children enrolled in VIVA LA FAMILIA Study. Cytokine phenotypes included monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), leptin, adiponectin, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), C-reactive protein (CRP), regulated upon activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) and eotaxin. Obesity-related phenotypes included body mass index (BMI), fat mass (FM), truncal FM and fasting serum insulin. Heritabilities ranged from 0.33 to 0.97. Pleiotropy was observed between cytokines and obesity traits. Positive genetic correlations were seen between CRP, leptin, MCP-1 and obesity traits, and negative genetic correlations with adiponectin, ICAM-1 and TGF-β1. Genome-wide scan of sICAM-1 mapped to chromosome 3 (LOD = 3.74) between markers D3S1580 and D3S1601, which flanks the adiponectin gene (ADIPOQ). Suggestive linkage signals were found in other chromosomal regions for other cytokines. In summary, significant heritabilities for circulating cytokines, pleiotropy between cytokines and obesity traits, and linkage for sICAM-1 on chromosome 3q substantiate a genetic contribution to circulating cytokine levels in Hispanic children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-247
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood obesity
  • Cytokines
  • Genome-wide scan
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology


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