Subclinical inflammation is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms underlying increased levels of inflammatory markers and their changes in response to weight loss are not fully understood yet. It has been proposed that elevated concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) are mediated by cytokines produced in adipose tissue. We investigated the changes in circulating CRP after weight reduction, in relation to parameters relevant to the metabolic syndrome. Forty 25- to 35-year-old obese female volunteers participated in an intervention program of dietary education and supervised physical activity for a period of 9 weeks. Anthropological parameters and biochemical measurements (high-sensitivity CRP [hsCRP], plasma lipoproteins, interleukin 6 [IL-6], adiponectin) were analyzed before and after the intervention. Body mass index decreased by more than 7% from 31.5 +/- 4.1 to 29.1 +/- 3.9. Plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentrations decreased by 30%, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol increased by 8%, and fasting insulin concentrations decreased by 15%. There were no significant changes in either low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or triacylglycerol concentrations. Subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue mass decreased by 12% and 18%. High-sensitivity CRP concentrations decreased by 30%; however, mean plasma IL-6 and adiponectin concentrations remained unchanged. In linear regression analysis, the changes in plasma hsCRP concentrations were associated with baseline hsCRP concentration, change in triacylglycerols and FFA concentrations, and in waist circumference. The decrease in hsCRP concentration after weight reduction does not appear to be mediated by decreases in circulating IL-6 or adiponectin concentrations; however, change in hsCRP concentration is related to changes in waist circumference and lipid metabolism, reflected by plasma triacylglycerol and FFA levels.