Integrative phenotyping of glycemic responders upon clinical weight loss using multi-omics

Sci Rep. 2020 Jun 8;10(1):9236. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65936-8.


Weight loss aims to improve glycemic control in obese but strong variability is observed. Using a multi-omics approach, we investigated differences between 174 responders and 201 non-responders, that had lost >8% body weight following a low-caloric diet (LCD, 800 kcal/d for 8 weeks). The two groups were comparable at baseline for body composition, glycemic control, adipose tissue transcriptomics and plasma ketone bodies. But they differed significantly in their response to LCD, including improvements in visceral fat, overall insulin resistance (IR) and tissue-specific IR. Transcriptomics analyses found down-regulation in key lipogenic genes (e.g. SCD, ELOVL5) in responders relative to non-responders; metabolomics showed increase in ketone bodies; while proteomics revealed differences in lipoproteins. Findings were consistent between genders; with women displaying smaller improvements owing to a better baseline metabolic condition. Integrative analyses identified a plasma omics model that was able to predict non-responders with strong performance (on a testing dataset, the Receiving Operating Curve Area Under the Curve (ROC AUC) was 75% with 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) [67%, 83%]). This model was based on baseline parameters without the need for intrusive measurements and outperformed clinical models (p = 0.00075, with a +14% difference on the ROC AUCs). Our approach document differences between responders and non-responders, with strong contributions from liver and adipose tissues. Differences may be due to de novo lipogenesis, keto-metabolism and lipoprotein metabolism. These findings are useful for clinical practice to better characterize non-responders both prior and during weight loss.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Body Composition
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Down-Regulation
  • Fatty Acid Elongases / genetics
  • Fatty Acid Elongases / metabolism
  • Genomics*
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / physiology
  • Ketone Bodies / blood*
  • Lipids / analysis
  • Phenotype
  • Proteomics*
  • ROC Curve
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • ELOVL5 protein, human
  • Ketone Bodies
  • Lipids
  • Fatty Acid Elongases