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Open Access Research article

A genetic predisposition score for muscular endophenotypes predicts the increase in aerobic power after training: the CAREGENE study

Tom Thomaes1*, Martine Thomis2, Steven Onkelinx1, Robert Fagard3, Gert Matthijs4, Roselien Buys1, Dirk Schepers1, Véronique Cornelissen1 and Luc Vanhees1

Author Affiliations

1 Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Unit, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium

2 Research Centre for Exercise and Health, Department of Biomedical Kinesiology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium

3 Hypertension and Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Unit, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, UZ Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

4 Department of Human Genetics, Centre for Human Genetics of the University Hospitals, UZ Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

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BMC Genetics 2011, 12:84  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-12-84

Published: 3 October 2011

Abstract

Background

It is widely accepted that genetic variability might explain a large part of the observed heterogeneity in aerobic capacity and its response to training. Significant associations between polymorphisms of different genes with muscular strength, anaerobic phenotypes and body composition have been reported. Muscular endophenotypes are positively correlated with aerobic capacity, therefore, we tested the association of polymorphisms in twelve muscular related genes on aerobic capacity and its response to endurance training.

Methods

935 Coronary artery disease patients (CAD) who performed an incremental exercise test until exhaustion at baseline and after three months of training were included. Polymorphisms of the genes were detected using the invader assay. Genotype-phenotype association analyses were performed using ANCOVA. Different models for a genetic predisposition score (GPS) were constructed based on literature and own data and were related to baseline and response VO2 scores.

Results

Carriers of the minor allele in the R23K polymorphism of the glucocorticoid receptor gene (GR) and the ciliary neurotrophic factor gene (CNTF) had a significantly higher increase in peakVO2 after training (p < 0.05). Carriers of the minor allele (C34T) in the adenosine monophosphate deaminase (AMPD1) gene had a significantly lower relative increase (p < 0.05) in peakVO2. GPS of data driven models were significantly associated with the increase in peakVO2 after training.

Conclusions

In CAD patients, suggestive associations were found in the GR, CNTF and the AMPD1 gene with an improved change in aerobic capacity after three months of training. Additionally data driven models with a genetic predisposition score (GPS) showed a significant predictive value for the increase in peakVO2.

Keywords:
Cardiac Rehabilitation; Ischemic Heart Disease; Exercise Test; Physical capacity; genetic association; aerobic power