Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 29 P1182

Growth differentiation factor-15 and transforming growth factor-[beta]1 in healthy adults with and without obesity

C. Sasse, M. Look, E. Albers, B. Zur & B. Stoffel-Wagner


University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


Introduction: GDF-15 and TGF-β1 are growth factors involved in immune modulation and development of arteriosclerosis. Aim of this study was to assess whether GDF-15 and TGF-β1 concentrations are higher in adipose vs non-adipose individuals and whether this indicates early immune modulation with higher risk of arteriosclerosis.

Description of methods: We examined 84 healthy individuals: 38 non-obese (average age 24.9 years) with mean BMI of 20.5+0.2 (S.E.M.) and 46 adipose (average age 34.8 years) with mean BMI of 37.7+0.9 (S.E.M.). In both groups, we determined GDF-15 and TGF-β1 concentration in plasma with ELISA (Quantikine, R&D Systems, Inc., MN, USA).

Results: GDF-15 concentration did not differ significantly between non-obese individuals (mean value 433 pg/ml+25 S.E.M.) and adipose individuals (mean value 434 pg/ml+38 S.E.M.) (Mann–Whitney U test, P=0.3185). TGF-β1 concentrations were significantly higher in adipose individuals (mean value 5784 pg/ml+308 S.E.M.) than in non-adipose individuals (mean value 3061 pg/ml+133 S.E.M.) (Mann–Whitney U test, P<0.0001).

Conclusion: In the tested adipose individuals, TGF-β1, but not GDF-15 concentrations were significantly higher than in the non-adipose individuals. Hence, in young adipose individuals, changes in immune modulation may be assessed earlier with TGF-β1 than with GDF-15.

Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.

Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.

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