Several association studies have indicated the insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) gene G972R variant as a genetic risk factor for insulin resistance, particularly in presence of obesity. A few studies have also suggested a possible effect of the G972R variant on insulin secretion. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of the IRS-1 gene G972R variant in 61 subjects with "uncomplicated" obesity [i.e. without diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary artery disease (CAD)], studied by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. The presence of the G972R variant, detected in real-time with LightCycler hybridisation probes, was related to the indexes of insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, the possible role of this variant on insulin secretion was studied by means of insulin release indexes derived from oral tolerance test (OGTT). Twenty-four point five percent (24.5%) (no. = 15) of the obese subjects proved to be carriers of the G972R variant. M index (P < 0.05), non-oxidative glucose (p < 0.01), insulin clearance (p < 0.03) and insulin sensitivity index (ISI) (p < 0.005) were all significantly reduced in G972R carriers compared to non-carriers, indicating a significant reduction in insulin sensitivity in carriers of the variant. A logistic regression analysis confirmed the independent association between the G972R variant and reduced insulin sensitivity (p < 0.03). The interaction between obesity and the G972R variant was also independently associated with a reduced insulin sensitivity (p < 0.005), suggesting that obesity and G972R variant were more than additive in predicting insulin resistance. The analysis of insulin release indexes did not show any significant differences. Our results demonstrate the association of the G972R variant of the IRS-1 gene with reduced insulin sensitivity in obese subjects, and indicate a possible interaction between the IRS-1 variant and obesity in worsening of insulin sensitivity
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