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Mediators Inflamm. 2014;2014:306848. doi: 10.1155/2014/306848. Epub 2014 May 21.

Association of serum tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand with body fat distribution as assessed by dual X-rays absorptiometry.

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Section of Medical Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Department of Biomedical and Specialist Surgical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Via Borsari 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy.
Department of Morphology, Surgery and Experimental Medicine, Menopause and Osteoporosis Centre, University of Ferrara, Via Boschetto 29, 44124 Ferrara, Italy.
Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Via Manzoni 16, 34137 Trieste, Italy.
Institute for Maternal and Child Health, IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, Via dell'Istria 65/01, 34137 Trieste, Italy.


A low chronic inflammation mediated by cytokine release is considered a major pathogenic mechanism accounting for the higher risk of cardiovascular disease in the overweight/obese population. In this context, although the existence of a possible interaction between soluble tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) and quantity and localization, of adiposity in the body has been hypothesized, no studies have yet investigated this link by radiologic techniques able to assess directly fat mass (FM) in different body regions. To address this issue, we assessed body fat distribution by dual X-rays absorptiometry (DXA) in a sample of 103 women and investigated the possible association between the derived adiposity measures and serum TRAIL concentration. The level of TRAIL showed a positive and independent correlation with arms FM (P < 0.05), trunk FM (P < 0.001) and trunk FM% (P < 0.05), total FM and total FM% (P < 0.001 for both), and an inverse association with legs FM% (P < 0.05). Only trunk FM retained a significant correlation (P < 0.05) with TRAIL after adjusting for all the other indices of regional adiposity. In conclusion, from our study it emerged a significant and independent association of serum TRAIL levels with overall, and, mainly, central adiposity. Further studies are needed to longitudinally investigate the cause-effect relationship between change in body fat distribution and TRAIL.

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