Background: Increased body fat may be associated with an increased risk of developing an underlying pro-inflammatory state, thus leading to greater risk of developing certain chronic conditions. Immunoglobulin G has the ability to exert both anti- and pro-inflammatory effects, and the N-glycosylation of the fragment crystallisable portion is involved in mediating this process. Body mass index, a rudimentary yet gold standard indication for body fat, has been shown to be associated with agalactosylated immunoglobulin G N-glycans.
Aim: We aimed to determine the association between increased body fat and the immunoglobulin G glycosylation features, comparing body mass index to other measures of body fat distribution.
Methods: We investigated a sample of 637 community-based 45-69 year olds, with mixed phenotypes, residing in Busselton, Western Australia. Body mass index and the waist-to-hip and waist-to-height ratios were calculated using anthropometry, while dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry was performed to gain an accurate measure of total and area specific body fat. Serum immunoglobulin GN-glycans were analysed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography.
Results: Twenty-two N-glycan peaks were found to be associated with at least one of the fat measures. While the previous association of body mass index to agalactosylated immunoglobulin G was replicated, measures of central adiposity explained the most variation in the immunoglobulin G glycome.
Conclusion: Central adiposity is associated with an increased pro-inflammatory fraction of immunoglobulin G, suggesting that the android/gynoid ratio or waist-to-height ratio instead be considered when controlling for adiposity in immunoglobulin G glycome biomarker studies.
Keywords: Body mass index; Central adiposity; Glycosylation; Immunoglobulin G; Pro-inflammation.
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