Basal and postprandial plasma levels of PYY, ghrelin, cholecystokinin, gastrin and insulin in women with moderate and morbid obesity and metabolic syndrome

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Mar:58 Suppl 1:13-35.


Metabolic syndrome (MS), defined as central obesity, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia and glucose intolerance, has been associated with inflammatory biomarkers and cardiovascular diseases. This study was carried out on three groups of women; lean controls, moderately obese with MS (OB-MS) and morbidly obese with MS (MOB-MS). The main objectives were: 1. to analyze the plasma levels of total and acylated ghrelin, peptide YY(3-36) (PYY(3-36)), cholecystokinin (CCK), gastrin and insulin levels under basal conditions and in response to a standard mixed meal, and 2. to elucidate the relationship between the plasma levels of these gut peptides and metabolic syndrome parameters. Plasma levels of the gut hormones were measured by radioimmunoassays at time 0 just before the meal and at 30, 60 and 120 min after a meal ingestion. Traditional lipid profile and high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hs-CRP), the strongest biomarker of inflammation were also determined in OB-MS and MOB-MS. When compared to OB-MS, MOB-MS exhibited much higher anthropometric parameters such as waist circumference, higher fat mass and higher plasma levels of low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) and hs-CRP. Both these obese groups revealed significantly higher values of body mass index (BMI), fat mass, total cholesterol (TC), LDL-C, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, insulin resistance (IR) calculated from homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) and hs-CRP compared to the values recorded in lean subjects. Fasting PYY(3-36) level was lower, while fasting acylated ghrelin was higher in MOB-MS than in OB-MS. Plasma total and acylated ghrelin levels were significantly lower in OB-MS compared to lean women. In MOB-MS women the fasting PYY(3-36) levels were lower compared to lean controls and OB-MS, whilst postprandially in both OB-MS and MOB-MS, it was much lower than in lean women. The fasting plasma levels of total and acylated ghrelin and their postprandial decrease were significantly smaller in both obese groups compared to lean subjects. Plasma hs-CRP levels correlated positively with BMI, waist circumference, fat mass, fasting glucose, HOMA IR and fasting active ghrelin, whilst it negatively correlated with plasma fasting and total ghrelin. Moreover, plasma fasting acylated ghrelin correlated positively with fat mass. Fasting total ghrelin correlated positively with BMI, HDL-C and negatively with HOMA IR. We conclude that MS features of obesity are closely related to fasting and postprandial alterations of concentrations of PYY(3-36), CCK and ghrelin, suggesting that determination of gut hormones controlling food intake might be considered as a valuable tool to assess the progression of MS to comorbidities of obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Acylation
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cholecystokinin / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Gastrins / blood
  • Gastrins / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / blood*
  • Ghrelin / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity, Morbid / metabolism
  • Peptide Hormones / blood*
  • Peptide YY / blood
  • Poland
  • Postprandial Period*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Gastrins
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Ghrelin
  • Insulin
  • Peptide Hormones
  • Peptide YY
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Cholecystokinin