Increased central adiposity is associated with pro-inflammatory immunoglobulin G N-glycans

Immunobiology. 2019 Jan;224(1):110-115. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2018.10.002. Epub 2018 Oct 19.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adipose Tissue / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Aged
  • Anthropometry
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Female
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / chemistry*
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Inflammation Mediators / chemistry*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Inflammation Mediators