Glucose tolerance and free fatty acid metabolism in adults with variations in TCF7L2 rs7903146

Jin Lu, Ron T. Varghese, Lianzhen Zhou, Adrian Vella, Michael D. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective TCF7L2 variant rs7903146 is associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes. We investigated the effect of TCF7L2 variant rs7903146 and glucose tolerance on free fatty acid (FFA) metabolism. Research Design and Methods We recruited 120 individuals, half homozygous for the major CC allele and half homozygous for the minor TT allele at rs7903146; each underwent a 2-h, 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Plasma glucose, insulin and free fatty acid concentrations were measured on blood collected before and during the OGTT. Results Total FFA concentrations and percent FA species during OGTT were not different in CC and TT carriers when males and females were considered together. However, monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) concentrations and percentages were greater in TT than CC females during the OGTT. TT carriers with high HOMA-IR had significantly greater fasting FFA concentrations, lower disposition index (DI) and greater AUC of glucose than high HOMA-IR CC carriers, whereas no such differences were observed in the low HOMA-IR group. We found that fasting (826 ± 25 vs. 634 ± 22 μmol/L, P < 0.0001) and OGTT plasma FFA concentrations were greater in IGT than NGT subjects, and the difference remained after adjusting for sex, age, BMI, and genotype. Finally, IGT subjects had greater MUFA concentrations and percentages than NGT subjects during OGTT. Conclusions Despite similar fasting insulin and glucose, fasting plasma FFA are greater in IGT than NGT adults. Insulin resistance and sex influence plasma FFA responses amongst carriers of the minor T allele of TCF7L2 rs7903146.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Fatty acids
  • Free fatty acids
  • Insulin action
  • Insulin secretion
  • Prediabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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