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Obes Surg. 2012 Jun;22(6):935-44. doi: 10.1007/s11695-012-0633-0.

Pro-inflammatory phospholipid arachidonic acid/eicosapentaenoic acid ratio of dysmetabolic severely obese women.

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  • 1Service de Biochimie, Pôle Biologie, CHU de Toulouse, Toulouse, France.



Fatty acids (FAs) and adipokines such as adiponectin or interleukin-6 (IL-6) are known to modulate inflammation and the development of metabolic syndrome. Whether FA composition assessed in plasma triacylglycerols (TAGs), phospholipids (PLs) and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) and adipose tissue (AT) PLs differed between dysmetabolic and non-dysmetabolic severely obese women remains to be established. Whether the plasma and/or AT arachidonic acid (AA)/eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) ratio in the PL sub-fraction may be associated with adipokine AT gene expression needs to be examined.


FA composition was measured in plasma lipid classes and in the TAG and PL sub-fractions of subcutaneous abdominal and omental ATs of severely obese women paired for age and adiposity but showing a dysmetabolic profile (n = 13) or not (n = 14). FA profile was assessed by gas chromatography. Plasma and AT mRNA concentrations of adiponectin and IL-6 were measured by ELISA and real-time polymerase chain reaction, respectively.


Plasma adiponectin and FA concentrations in the NEFA sub-fraction were, respectively, lower and higher in dysmetabolic than in non-dysmetabolic women (p < 0.05). Despite similar FA levels in the PL sub-fraction, the AA/EPA ratio was higher in plasma and ATs (p < 0.005), because of an EPA decrease in plasma and subcutaneous abdominal fat vs. an AA increase in the omental depot. The AA/EPA ratio was negatively associated with adiponectin concentrations in plasma and subcutaneous abdominal AT (0.01 < p < 0.05).


Metabolic dysfunction is associated with a pro-inflammatory phospholipid AA/EPA ratio in plasma and ATs, and an altered adiponectin secretion that could contribute to developing metabolic syndrome.

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