Effect of weight loss on serum pigment epithelium-derived factor levels

Eur J Clin Invest. 2011 Sep;41(9):937-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2011.02482.x. Epub 2011 Feb 14.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bariatric Surgery / methods*
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Eye Proteins / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Growth Factors / blood*
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Serpins / blood*
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Loss*
  • Young Adult


  • Eye Proteins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Serpins
  • pigment epithelium-derived factor