Opposite regulation of interleukin-8 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha by weight loss

Obes Res. 2002 Jun;10(6):499-506. doi: 10.1038/oby.2002.68.


Objective: To obtain more information on the possible influence of body mass index (BMI) and weight loss on interleukin-8 (IL-8) in plasma and in the adipose tissue. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) was used for comparison and determined in parallel with IL-8.

Research methods and procedures: The study was divided into three parts: 1) a cross-sectional study that included 89 subjects; 2) a 20-week intervention study in which 34 healthy obese subjects received a dietary intervention for 8 weeks followed by an additional 12 weeks on a weight-stabilization diet; 3) from this latter study, a subgroup of 8 obese subjects was investigated with a subcutaneous adipose-tissue biopsy.

Results: In the cross-sectional study, plasma levels of TNF-alpha (p < 0.01), but not IL-8, was correlated with BMI. However, in a subgroup (BMI, 20 to 30 kg/m(2)), IL-8 was correlated with BMI (p < 0.01). In the intervention study, weight loss and weight maintenance led to an increase in IL-8 by 30% (p < 0.05) and a decrease in TNF-alpha by 40% (p < 0.001), which were paralleled in the adipose tissue, demonstrating a 2- to 3-fold increase (p < 0.01) and a 40% to 80% decrease (p < 0.01) in IL-8 and TNF-alpha, respectively.

Discussion: Weight loss in obese subjects was associated with opposite changes in the secretion and transcription of IL-8 and TNF-alpha in the adipose tissue, as well as in plasma. This could indicate that plasma IL-8 under some conditions may be related to changes in adipose tissue IL-8 production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Culture Techniques
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Interleukin-8 / blood
  • Interleukin-8 / genetics
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*
  • Weight Loss*


  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-8
  • Leptin
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha