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ISRN Endocrinol. 2012;2012:592648. doi: 10.5402/2012/592648. Epub 2012 Jul 15.

Serum levels of fetal antigen 1 in extreme nutritional States.

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  • 1KMEB laboratory, Department of Endocrinology and Center for Eating Disorders, Odense University Hospital, 5000 Odense, Denmark.


Objective. Recent data suggest that fetal antigen (FA1) is linked to disorders of body weight. Thus, we measured FA1 serum levels in two extreme nutritional states of morbid obesity (MO) and anorexia nervosa (AN) and monitored its response to weight changes. Design. FA1 and insulin serum concentrations were assessed in a cross-sectional study design at defined time points after gastric restrictive surgery for 25 MO patients and 15 women with AN. Results. Absolute FA1 serum levels were within the assay normal range and were not different between the groups at baseline. However, the ratio of FA1/BMI was significantly higher in AN. FA1 was inversely correlated with BMI before and after weight change in AN, but not in MO patients. In addition, MO patients displayed a significant concomitant decrease of FA1 and insulin with the first 25% of EWL, while in AN patients a significant increase of FA1 was observed in association with weight gain. Conclusion. FA1 is a sensitive indicator of metabolic adaptation during weight change. While FA1 serum levels in humans generally do not correlate with BMI, our results suggest that changes in FA1 serum levels reflect changes in adipose tissue turnover.

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