Introduction: Propensity to centripetal adiposity is an ethnic characteristic amongst South Asians, which may underlie the excess risk for both coronary heart disease (CHD) and diabetes in this population. Circulating levels of adipocytokines (hormones which include leptin, adiponectin, tumour necrosis factor (TNF-alpha)) and C-reactive protein (CRP) reflect the adipose tissues endocrine and metabolic activity, and are implicated in CHD.
Methods: We compared Gujaratis in Britain with similar, non-migrant Gujaratis in India, to investigate the impact of migration on circulating levels of adipocytokines and CRP. Gujaratis living in Sandwell were compared with age, gender and caste-matched contemporaries remaining in their villages of origin in Navsari, India. Adipocytokines were measured by two-site ELISA with commercially available antibodies, CRP was measured by an automated high sensitivity assay.
Results: In UK Gujarati men (n=94) who displayed greater centripetal adiposity, median (IQR) TNF-alpha levels were significantly higher: 210 pg/ml (201330) than Indian Gujarati men (n=110) 30 ng/ml (20340), P=0.001. Serum leptin was also higher in UK Gujarati men 3100 pg/ml (17006100) vs Indian Gujarati men 1300 pg/ml (5003500), P<0.001. No differences were seen in men for CRP or adiponectin by migration status.
Even greater differences with migration were seen for women where in addition hsCRP was greater in UK Gujarati women (n=92) at 1.39 g/l (0.743.45) vs Indian Gujarati women (n=130) hsCRP 0.87 mg/l (0.382.23), P<0.001. Adiponectin was also higher in UK Gujarati women 4630 ng/ml (33206430) than Indian Gujarati women 3870 ng/ml (27805490) (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The higher levels of TNF-alpha and CRP (particularly in women) seen with migration in this Gujarati Indian population suggests a role for pro-inflammatory cytokines in the excess CHD risk in this population. The higher adiponectin level in women suggests a possible compensatory mechanism to improve glucose handling and insulin sensitivity as adiposity increases.
01 - 05 Apr 2006
European Society of Endocrinology