Association of maternal weight with FADS and ELOVL genetic variants and fatty acid levels- The PREOBE follow-up.PLoS One. 2017; 12(6):e0179135.Plos
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the genes encoding the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) and elongase (ELOVL) enzymes affect long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) production. We aimed to determine if these SNPs are associated with body mass index (BMI) or affect fatty acids (FAs) in pregnant women. Participants (n = 180) from the PREOBE cohort were grouped according to pre-pregnancy BMI: normal-weight (BMI = 18.5-24.9, n = 88) and overweight/obese (BMI≥25, n = 92). Plasma samples were analyzed at 24 weeks of gestation to measure FA levels in the phospholipid fraction. Selected SNPs were genotyped (7 in FADS1, 5 in FADS2, 3 in ELOVL2 and 2 in ELOVL5). Minor allele carriers of rs174545, rs174546, rs174548 and rs174553 (FADS1), and rs1535 and rs174583 (FADS2) were nominally associated with an increased risk of having a BMI≥25. Only for the normal-weight group, minor allele carriers of rs174537, rs174545, rs174546, and rs174553 (FADS1) were negatively associated with AA:DGLA index. Normal-weight women who were minor allele carriers of FADS SNPs had lower levels of AA, AA:DGLA and AA:LA indexes, and higher levels of DGLA, compared to major homozygotes. Among minor allele carriers of FADS2 and ELOVL2 SNPs, overweight/obese women showed higher DHA:EPA index than the normal-weight group; however, they did not present higher DHA concentrations than the normal-weight women. In conclusion, minor allele carriers of FADS SNPs have an increased risk of obesity. Maternal weight changes the effect of genotype on FA levels. Only in the normal-weight group, minor allele carriers of FADS SNPs displayed reduced enzymatic activity and FA levels. This suggests that women with a BMI≥25 are less affected by FADS genetic variants in this regard. In the presence of FADS2 and ELOVL2 SNPs, overweight/obese women showed higher n-3 LC-PUFA production indexes than women with normal weight, but this was not enough to obtain a higher n-3 LC-PUFA concentration.