Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 1767–1774 | Cite as

Amerindians show no association of PPAR-γ2 gene Ala12 allele and obesity: an “unthrifty” variant population genetics

  • Antonio Arnaiz-VillenaEmail author
  • Mercedes Fernández-Honrado
  • Cristina Areces
  • Mercedes Enríquez-de-Salamanca
  • Sedeka Abd-El-Fatah-Khalil
  • Carmen Coca
  • Ignacio Arribas
  • Manuel Algora
  • Diego Rey


Obesity is for many scholars the most important starting status that gives rise to Metabolic Syndrome (MS) and Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). In the present paper, a genetically homogeneous Amerindian population, as defined by HLA genes, has been genotyped for one of the MS and T2D predisposing genes: PPAR-γ Ala12 and Pro 12 variants. Ala12 has been negatively associated with obesity, but other authors do not find such an association. Notwithstanding, a meta-analysis that used many subjects clearly demonstrated that PPAR-γ Ala12 bearing ones had a reduced risk for T2D. Our results show that Amerindians do not have association of PPAR-γ2 Ala12 and obesity; the latter was measured by waist circumference values after taken specific Amerindian normal waist parameters. Also, a population genetics study indicates that Pro12 allele was the wild allele, which must have occurred before modern humans left Africa. Ala12 may have appeared in Caucasoids later on, according to our comparisons. Negroids tend to show low or null Ala 12 allele frequencies, while most other populations have a significant frequency, particularly European Caucasoids. This may suggest that appearance of Ala12 allele occurred after populations adapted to an agricultural feeding.


Amerindians Diabetes HLA Hypertension Metabolic Syndrome Obesity Population Genetics PPAR-γ Pro12Ala polymorphism Thrifty genes 



This work was supported in part by grants from the Spanish Ministry of Health (FISS PI11-807), and Mutua Madrileña Automovilista grants. We thank Javier Alonso Rubio for help and advise.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Arnaiz-Villena
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mercedes Fernández-Honrado
    • 2
  • Cristina Areces
    • 1
  • Mercedes Enríquez-de-Salamanca
    • 1
  • Sedeka Abd-El-Fatah-Khalil
    • 2
  • Carmen Coca
    • 3
  • Ignacio Arribas
    • 3
  • Manuel Algora
    • 2
  • Diego Rey
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Inmunología, Facultad de Medicina, The Madrid Regional Blood CenterUniversity ComplutenseMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of HaematologyThe Madrid Regional Blood CenterMadridSpain
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryHospital Príncipe de AsturiasMadridSpain

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