DOI: 10.3390/biomedicines11123320 ISSN: 2227-9059

Altered Red Blood Cell Fatty Acid and Serum Adipokine Profiles in Subjects with Obesity

Asier Léniz, Alfredo Fernández-Quintela, Sara Arranz, Kevin Portune, Itziar Tueros, Eunate Arana, Luis Castaño, Olaia Velasco, María P. Portillo
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Background: Adipokines, as well as the fatty acid profile of red blood cell (RBC) membranes, are known to play important roles in the development and progression of metabolic complications induced by obesity. Thus, the objective of this study is to compare the serum adipokine profile and the RBC membrane fatty acid profile of normal-weight and obese adults, and to analyze their relationship with serum biochemical parameters. Methods: An observational case–control study was performed in 75 normal-weight and obese adult subjects. Biochemical serum parameters, eight serum adipokines and the RBC membrane fatty acid profiles were measured. Associations between parameters were established using regression analysis. Results: Subjects with obesity showed increased levels of leptin, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) and overexpressed nephroblastoma (NOV/CCN3), decreased adiponectin, and similar levels of vaspin and chemerin compared to normal-weight subjects. Significant positive and negative correlations were found with triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c), respectively. An increase in the total ω-6 fatty acids in the RBC membrane fatty acid profiles in subjects with obesity was observed, because of higher levels of both dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA) and arachidonic acid (AA), and decreased total ω-3 fatty acids, mainly due to lower levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The ω-6/ω-3 ratio in the RBCs was significantly higher, suggesting an inflammatory status, as was also suggested by a reduced adiponectin level. A negative association between DGLA and adiponectin, and a positive association between DHA and serum triglycerides, was observed. Conclusions: Important alterations in serum adipokine and RBC fatty acid profiles are found in subjects with obesity.

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