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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Mar;101(3):871-9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2015-3525. Epub 2015 Dec 28.

Lipidomics Reveals Associations of Phospholipids With Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Young Adults.

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Division of Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine (S.R., O.U., B.K., F.K., C.H.), Dr von Hauner Children's Hospital, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, D-80337 Munich, Germany; Royal Perth Hospital Unit (T.M., L.J.B.), School of Medicine and Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia, 6000 Perth, Western Australia, Australia; and Telethon Kids Institute (R.-C.H., W.H.O.), The University of Western Australia, 6009 Perth, Western Australia, Australia.



Obesity and related diseases have become a global public health burden. Identifying biomarkers will lead to a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms associated with obesity and the pathways leading to insulin resistance (IR) and diabetes.


This study aimed to identify the lipidomic biomarkers associated with obesity and IR using plasma samples from a population-based cohort of young adults.


The Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) study enrolled 2900 pregnant women from 1989 to 1991. The 20-year follow-up was conducted between March 2010 and April 2012. Participants and Samples: Plasma samples from 1176 subjects aged 20 years were analyzed using mass spectrometry-based metabolomics.


Associations of analytes with markers of obesity and IR including body mass index, waist circumference, homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR), and insulin were examined. Analyses were stratified by body mass index and adjusted for lifestyle and other factors.


Waist circumference was positively associated with seven sphingomyelins and five diacylphosphatidylcholines and negatively associated with two lysophosphatidylcholines. HOMA-IR was negatively associated with two diacylphosphatidylcholines and positively with one lysophosphatidylcholine and one diacylphosphatidylcholine. No significant association was found in the obese/overweight group of the HOMA-IR model. In the normal-weight group, one lysophosphatidylcholine was increased.


A possible discriminative effect of sphingomyelins, particularly those with two double bonds, and lysophosphatidylcholines was identified between subjects with normal weight and obesity independent of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations. Our results suggest weight status-dependent mechanisms for the development of IR with lysophosphatidylcholine C14:0 as a key metabolite in nonobese IR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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