CONTEXT: Chemerin is a new adipokine involved in in vitro adipogenesis and insulin resistance and associates with body mass index (BMI) in vivo.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated the role of chemerin in morbid obesity, associated metabolic diseases (insulin resistance, hepatic diseases), and postsurgery-induced weight loss.
SETTING: This was a prospective study performed at a university hospital.
SUBJECTS: Subjects included 60 obese female patients (BMI 50.0 +/- 1.0 kg/m(-2)) being candidates for gastric bypass.
STUDY DESIGN: Patients were examined before and 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery. In 27 patients, chemerin was measured after 2 yr.
MAIN OUTCOME: Outcomes included chemerin, anthropometric parameters, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, C-reactive protein, adipokines at all time points; and liver histology and macrophage content in fat at baseline.
RESULTS: Chemerin was substantially elevated in obese patients compared with nonobese persons (353.8 +/- 18.0 vs. 191 +/- 14 ng/ml, P < 0.001). Preoperatively, chemerin concentrations correlated positively with BMI, C-reactive protein, IL-6, HOMA-IR, and the amount of omental macrophages and negatively with high-density lipoprotein levels. Baseline chemerin was elevated in patients with a significant activity score for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, portal inflammation, fibrosis, and fibroinflammation. After surgery, chemerin decreased significantly to 253.0 +/- 14.9 ng/ml after 1 yr and pursued its decrease in patients studied for 2 yr. After surgery, chemerin concentrations positively correlated with triglycerides. The strong decrease of chemerin in the 3 months after surgery was associated with the decrease in HOMA-IR and blood glucose.
CONCLUSIONS: Chemerin concentrations are elevated in morbidly obese patients and correlated with insulin resistance and markers of liver pathology. Chemerin plasma concentrations decreased after bariatric surgery. This study suggests that chemerin might mediate metabolic alterations in obesity, drastically improving after gastric bypass.
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