Longitudinal Profiling of Fasting Plasma Metabolome in Response to Weight-Loss Interventions in Patients with Morbid Obesity

Metabolites. 2024 Feb 10;14(2):116. doi: 10.3390/metabo14020116.


It is well recognized that patients with severe obesity exhibit remarkable heterogeneity in response to different types of weight-loss interventions. Those who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) usually exhibit more favorable glycemic outcomes than those who receive adjustable gastric banding (BAND) or intensive medical intervention (IMI). The molecular mechanisms behind these observations, however, remain largely unknown. To identify the plasma metabolites associated with differential glycemic outcomes induced by weight-loss intervention, we studied 75 patients with severe obesity (25 each in RYGB, BAND, or IMI). Using untargeted metabolomics, we repeatedly measured 364 metabolites in plasma samples at baseline and 1-year after intervention. Linear regression was used to examine whether baseline metabolites or changes in metabolites are associated with differential glycemic outcomes in response to different types of weight-loss intervention, adjusting for sex, baseline age, and BMI as well as weight loss. Network analyses were performed to identify differential metabolic pathways involved in the observed associations. After correction for multiple testing (q < 0.05), 33 (RYGB vs. IMI) and 28 (RYGB vs. BAND) baseline metabolites were associated with changes in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Longitudinal changes in 38 (RYGB vs. IMI) and 38 metabolites (RYGB vs. BAND) were significantly associated with changes in FPG or HbA1c. The identified metabolites are enriched in pathways involved in the biosynthesis of aminoacyl-tRNA and branched-chain amino acids. Weight-loss intervention evokes extensive changes in plasma metabolites, and the altered metabolome may underlie the differential glycemic outcomes in response to different types of weight-loss intervention, independent of weight loss itself.

Keywords: bariatric surgery; glycemic outcomes; metabolomics; obesity.