Background: Cumulating evidence suggests that the broadly acting neurotrophic pigment epithelium-derived factor is associated with visceral adiposity, the metabolic syndrome, diabetes and exerts beneficial effects on atherosclerosis. To further elucidate the relationship between pigment epithelium-derived factor and metabolic perturbations characteristic of obesity, we examined the effect of pronounced weight loss on serum levels of pigment epithelium-derived factor.
Materials and methods: Thirty-six severely obese adults were examined before and 18 months after bariatric surgery. Abdominal fat distribution was determined by ultrasound, metabolic parameters by standard methods, pro-inflammatory biomarkers and serum pigment epithelium-derived factor levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: Bariatric surgery resulted in a mean body mass index (BMI) reduction of 9·0 ± 5·0 kg m(-2) and concomitant improvements in glucose homoeostasis and lipid profile. Pigment epithelium-derived factor serum levels decreased from a median 11·0 μg mL(-1) (interquartile range: 3·8) to 9·2 μg mL(-1) (interquartile range: 4·5) (P < 0·0001). In univariate analysis, relative change in pigment epithelium-derived factor levels was significantly associated with change in weight, BMI, fat mass, visceral fat diameter, insulin, homoeostasis model for insulin resistance, triglyceride and leptin levels (all r > 0·370, P < 0·05). No associations were observed for C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 or tumour necrosis factor alpha. After adjustment for age, sex and smoking status, associations remained significant.
Conclusions: The beneficial effects of bariatric surgery-induced pronounced weight loss on glucose homoeostasis may partially be attributable to visceral adipose tissue reduction and concomitantly decreasing pigment epithelium-derived factor concentrations.
© 2011 The Authors. European Journal of Clinical Investigation © 2011 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation.