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Metabolism. 2004 Oct;53(10):1268-73.

Serum concentrations of nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and TNF soluble receptors in women with overweight and obesity.

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  • 1Department of Pathophysiology, Silesian University School of Medicine, Katowice, Poland.


The aims of the present study was to examine how overweight and obesity affect serum concentrations nitric oxide (NO) metabolites and to determine whether there is association between serum concentrations tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and TNF soluble receptors (sTNF-R) in subjects with overweight and obesity. The study groups involved 154 women: 102 obese (81 obese with body mass index [BMI] 30 to 40 kg/m2 and 21 obese with BMI > 40 kg/m2), 24 overweight patients, and 28 lean controls. Serum concentrations of NO metabolites and of TNF-alpha and its soluble receptors (sTNF-R1, sTNFR-2) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. Serum concentration of insulin was measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA). Plasma glucose, cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, and triglicerydes were determined by enzymatic procedure. Body composition was determined by impedance analysis using Bodystat (Douglas, British Isles). Serum concentrations of NO in the overweight group (35.1 +/- 12.1 micromol/L) and the obese groups with BMI 30 to 40 kg/m2 (32.8 +/- 9.3 micromol/L) and with BMI greater than 40 kg/m2 (33.3 +/- 8.5 micromol/L) were significantly higher when compared to controls (28.2 +/- 8.1 micromol/L): P < .05; P < .01, and P < .01, respectively. There was no difference in levels of NO between the overweight group and both obese groups. Serum concentration of TNF-alpha was also significantly higher in the group with overweight (6.5 +/- 3.1 pg/mL), in the obese group with BMI 30 to 40 kg/m2 (6.8 +/- 3.1 pg/mL), and in the obese group with BMI greater than 40 kg/m2 (7.4 +/- 2.6 pg/mL) when compared to controls (2.9 +/- 2.2 pg/mL): P < .00005; P < .00005, and P < .0000001, respectively. However, serum concentrations of sTNF-R1 and -R2 did not differ significantly between the overweight group, both obese groups, and controls. In conclusion, we observed increased serum concentrations of TNF-alpha and NO in overweight and obese women. It seems that there is an association between serum concentrations of TNF-alpha and NO; however, this relationship depends on the degree of obesity.

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