Association between cannabinoid type-1 receptor polymorphism and body mass index in a southern Italian population

P. Gazzerro, M. G. Caruso, M. Notarnicola, G. Misciagna, V. Guerra, C. Laezza, M. Bifulco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Endocannabinoids control food intake via both central and peripheral mechanisms, and cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1) modulates lipogenesis in primary adipocyte cell cultures and in animal models of obesity. Objectives: We aimed to evaluate, at the population level, the frequency of a genetic polymorphism of CB1 and to study its correlation with body mass index. Design, setting and participants: Healthy subjects from a population survey carried out in southern Italy examined in 1992-1993 and older than 65 years (n=419, M=237, F=182) were divided into quintiles by body mass index (BMI). Two hundred and ten subjects were randomly sampled from the first, third and fifth quintile of BMI (BMI, respectively: 16.2-23.8=normal, 26.7-28.4=overweight, 31.6-49.7=obese) to reach a total of 70 per quintile. Their serum and white cells from the biological bank were used to measure the genotype and the blood variables for the study. Measurements: Anthropometric parameters, blood pressure, serum glucose and lipid levels were measured with standard methods; genotyping for the CB1 1359G/A polymorphism was performed using multiplex PCR. Statistical methods included χ 2 for trend, binomial and multinomial multiple logistic regression to model BMI on the genotype, controlling for potential confounders. Results: We found a clear trend of increasing relative frequency of the CB1 wild-type genotype with the increase of BMI (P=0.03) and, using a multiple logistic regression model, wild-type genotype, female gender, age, glycaemia and triglycerides were directly associated with both overweight (third quintile of BMI) and obesity (fifth quintile of BMI). Conclusions: Although performed in a limited number of subjects, our results show that the presence of the CB1 polymorphic allele was significantly associated with a lower BMI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-912
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • BMI
  • Cannabinoid type-1 receptor
  • CB1-polymorphism
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Glycaemia
  • Lipid profile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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