Selective association of plasma non-esterified fatty acid species with circulating interleukin-8 concentrations in humans

Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2009 Jan;117(1):21-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1085459. Epub 2008 Dec 3.


Elevated plasma concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), due to high fat intake and/or adipose tissue lipolysis, are a hallmark of the metabolic syndrome. We assessed whether certain plasma NEFA species contribute to the chronic low-grade inflammatory state seen in the metabolic syndrome. We determined the fasting plasma NEFA patterns of 75 overweight non-diabetic subjects and analysed their relationship with plasma inflammatory parameters. After adjustment for gender, age, body fat, and waist-hip ratio, no strong correlations of single NEFA species with leukocyte number, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, or monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 were detected. However, oleate was negatively (r=-0.36, p=0.0015) and myristate (r=0.41, p=0.0003) as well as the omega3-polyunsaturated NEFA alpha-linolenate (r=0.37, p=0.0011), eicosapentaenoate (r=0.40, p=0.0003), and docosahexaenoate (r=0.40, p=0.0004) were positively associated with interleukin-8 concentrations. The other NEFA species as well as the total plasma NEFA concentration did not correlate with interleukin-8. The correlations of myristate, oleate, and the sum of all omega3-polyunsaturated NEFA with interleukin-8 were independent of plasma tumour necrosis factor-alpha and overall adiposity. Our data demonstrate close and selective associations of oleate, myristate, and omega3-polyunsaturated NEFA with plasma concentrations of the pro-inflammatory chemokine interleukin-8. Thus, these NEFA species may represent specific determinants of plasma interleukin-8.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / blood
  • Receptors, CCR2 / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Waist-Hip Ratio


  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Interleukin-8
  • Receptors, CCR2
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • C-Reactive Protein