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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 631082, 5 pages
Research Article

Haplogroup T Is an Obesity Risk Factor: Mitochondrial DNA Haplotyping in a Morbid Obese Population from Southern Italy

1CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate S.C. a R.L., Via G. Salvatore 486, 80145 Naples, Italy
2Dipartimento di Medicina Molecolare e Biotecnologie Mediche, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via S. Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy
3IRCCS Fondazione SDN, Istituto di Ricerca Diagnostica e Nucleare, Via E. Gianturco 113, 80143 Naples, Italy
4Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via S. Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy
5CISRO, Centro Interuniversitario di Studi e Ricerche sull’Obesità e Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Chirurgia, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via S. Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy
6Dipartimento di Studi delle Istituzioni e dei Sistemi Territoriali, Università degli Studi “Parthenope”, Via F. Acton 38, 80133 Naples, Italy
7Laboratori Misti, IRCCS Fondazione SDN-CEINGE, Via E. Gianturco 113, 80143 Naples, Italy

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 3 June 2013

Academic Editor: Ashraf S. Gorgey

Copyright © 2013 Carmela Nardelli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups have been associated with the expression of mitochondrial-related diseases and with metabolic alterations, but their role has not yet been investigated in morbid obese Caucasian subjects. Therefore, we investigated the association between mitochondrial haplogroups and morbid obesity in patients from southern Italy. The mtDNA D-loop of morbid obese patients ( ; BMI > 40 kg/m2) and controls ( ; BMI < 25 kg/m2) was sequenced to determine the mtDNA haplogroups. The T and J haplogroup frequencies were higher and lower, respectively, in obese subjects than in controls. Women bearing haplogroup T or J had twice or half the risk of obesity. Binomial logistic regression analysis showed that haplogroup T and systolic blood pressure are risk factors for a high degree of morbid obesity, namely, BMI > 45 kg/m2 and in fact together account for 8% of the BMI. In conclusion, our finding that haplogroup T increases the risk of obesity by about two-fold, suggests that, besides nuclear genome variations and environmental factors, the T haplogroup plays a role in morbid obesity in our study population from southern Italy.