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Horm Metab Res. 2007 Mar;39(3):212-7.

Association of free fatty acids (FFA) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and insulin-resistant metabolic disorder.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Medicine, Saitama Medical Center, Saitama Medical University, Kawagoe city, Saitama, Kamisho Health Insurance Center, Tokyo, Japan.


The roles of free fatty acids (FFA), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and adiponectin in the development of the insulin-resistant metabolic disorder in several subjects have been studied. A total of 70 Japanese male subjects were selected according to the following three sets of criteria: subjects in group A had, (1) a fasting plasma glucose (FPG)>or=110 to <140 mg/dl, (2) a triglyceride (TG) level>or=150 mg/dl, (3) a systolic blood pressure (SBP)>or=140 and/or diastolic blood pressure (DBP)>or=90 mmHg, and (4) a body mass index (BMI)>or=25 kg/m2 (age=53.4+/-8.5 years, BMI=27.0+/-1.3 kg/m2, n=16). Subjects in group B had, (1) FPG<110 mg/dl, (2) TG<150 mg/dl, (3) SBP<140 and DBP<90 mmHg, and (4) BMI>or=25 kg/m2 (age=47.2+/-10.3 years, BMI=26.6+/-1.31 kg/m2, n=38). Subjects in group C had, (1) FPG<110 mg/dl, (2) TG<150 mg/dl, (3) SBP<140 and DBP<90 mmHg, and (4) 20>or=BMI<22 kg/m2 (age=50.4+/-9.3 years, BMI=20.9+/-0.6 kg/m2, n=16). The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance in group A (2.7+/-1.4) was significantly higher (p<0.0001) than in groups B (1.6+/-0.7) and C (0.9+/-0.5). FFA in group A (1.17+/-0.57 mEq/l) was significantly higher than in groups B (0.62+/-0.23 mEq/l) and C (0.48+/-0.16 mEq/l) (p<0.0001). Serum TNF-alpha in group A (1.36+/-0.62 pg/ml) was significantly higher than in groups B (0.95+/-0.35 pg/ml; p=0.003) and C (0.76+/-0.09 pg/ml; p=0.0013). No significant differences in the serum level of adiponectin were observed between groups A and B or between groups B and C. The results suggest that FFA and possibly TNF-alpha levels are closely related to the development of insulin resistance in subjects with metabolic disorders.

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