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Journal Article

FTO gene variant modulates the neural correlates of visual food perception


Schilbach,  Leonhard
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Kuehn, A. B., Feis, D.-L., Schilbach, L., Kracht, L., Hess, M. E., Mauer, J., et al. (2016). FTO gene variant modulates the neural correlates of visual food perception. NEUROIMAGE, 128, 21-31. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.12.049.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-A735-3
Variations in the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene are currently the strongest knowngenetic factor predisposing humans to non-monogenic obesity. Recent experiments have linked these variants to a broad spectrum of behavioural alterations, including food choice and substance abuse. Yet, the underlying neurobiological mechanisms by which these genetic variations influence body weight remain elusive. Here, we explore the brain structural substrate of the obesity-predisposing rs9939609 T/A variant of the FTO gene in non-obese subjects bymeans ofmultivariate classification and use fMRI to investigate genotype-specific differences in neural food-cue reactivity by analysing correlates of a visual food perception task. Our findings demonstrate that MRI-derived measures of morphology along middle and posterior fusiform gyrus (FFG) are highly predictive for FTO at-risk allele carriers, who also show enhanced neural responses elicited by food cues in the same posterior FFG area. In brief, these findings provide first-time evidence for FTO-specific differences in both brain structure and function already in non-obese individuals, thereby contributing to amechanistic understanding of why FTO is a predisposing factor for obesity. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.