Lifestyle intervention modifies the effect of the MC4R genotype on changes in insulin resistance among women with prior gestational diabetes: Tianjin Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Prevention Program.



A history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has been related to an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes. The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) genotype has been related to glycemic changes in women with prior GDM.


The objective of this study was to analyze whether lifestyle intervention modified the association between the MC4R genotype and changes in insulin sensitivity among women with prior GDM.


We genotyped MC4R rs6567160 and measured glucose and insulin in fasting plasma samples at baseline and during the first 2 follow-up visits in 1128 women with prior GDM. They were randomly assigned to either a 4-y lifestyle intervention involving both diet and physical activity or a control group from a randomized clinical trial, the Tianjin Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Prevention Program. We analyzed the interaction between the MC4R genotype and lifestyle intervention on changes in insulin resistance.


From baseline to 1.28 y, the MC4R genotype was related to changes in fasting insulin, HOMA-IR, and homeostasis model assessment of β cell function (HOMA-B) in the intervention group. Each risk allele (C) of rs6567160 was associated with a 0.08-unit greater decrease in log(insulin), log(HOMA-IR), and log(HOMA-B) (P = 0.02, 0.04, and 0.04, respectively), whereas in the control group, each C allele tended to be associated with a greater increase in HOMA-IR (P = 0.09). We found significant interactions between the MC4R genotype and lifestyle intervention on 1.28-y changes in fasting insulin and HOMA-IR (P = 0.006 and 0.008, respectively), and such interaction remained significant when we analyzed the trajectory of changes in insulin and HOMA-IR from baseline to 2.55 y (both P = 0.03).


The exploratory results from the first 2 follow-up visits indicate that women with prior GDM carrying a diabetes-increasing MC4R genotype (CC or TC) may obtain better improvement than the TT genotype in insulin resistance through lifestyle intervention. This trial was registered at as NCT01554358.