Scientific publications

Circulating glucagon is associated with inflammatory mediators in metabolically compromised subjects

Ortega FJ, Moreno-Navarrete JM, Sabater M, Ricart W, Fruhbeck G [SP], Fernandez-Real JM.
F Ortega, Endocrinology, Hospital of Girona, Girona, 17007, Spain.

Magazine: European Journal of Endocrinology

Date: Jul 1, 2011

Obesity Unit Endocrinology and Nutrition [SP]

Acute phase mediators promote metabolic changes by modifying circulating hormones. However, there is virtually no data about the link between glucagon and inflammatory parameters in obesity-related chronic low-grade inflammation.

Study design
We performed both cross-sectional and longitudinal (diet-induced weight loss) studies.

Circulating glucagon concentrations (ELISA), parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and complement factor B (CFB), were analyzed in 316 subjects (250 men and 66 women). The effects of weight loss were investigated in an independent cohort of 20 subjects.

Circulating glucagon significantly correlated with glucose (r=0.407, p<0.0001), glycated hemoglobin (r=0.426, p<0.0001), fasting triglycerides (r=0.356, p=0.001), and parameters of innate immune response system such as IL-6 (r=0.342, p=0.050) and CFB (r=0.404, p=0.002) in obese subjects with altered glucose tolerance (AGT), but not in individuals with normal glucose tolerance (NGT). In obese and NGT subjects, glucagon was associated with fasting triglycerides (r=0.475, p=0.003) and CFB (r=0.624, p=0.001). In obese subjects, glucagon (p=0.019) and CFB (p=0.002) contributed independently to 26% of fasting triglycerides variance (p<0.0001) after controlling for the effects of age and fasting serum glucose concentration in multiple lineal regression models. Moreover, concomitantly with fat mass, fasting triglycerides, and CFB, weight loss led to significantly decreased circulating glucagon (-23.1%, p=0.004).

According to current results, acute phase reactants such as IL-6 and CFB are associated with fasting glucagon in metabolically compromised subjects. This suggests that glucagon may be behind the association between inflammatory and metabolic parameters in obesity-associated chronic low-grade inflammation.

CITATION  Eur J Endocrinol. 2011 Jul 28. [Epub ahead of print]



The Clínica is the greater private hospital with technological equipment of Spain, all in a single center.

Imagen de un PET, tecnología de vanguardia en la Clínica Universidad de Navarra


The professionals of the Clínica perform continuous research and training, always to the benefit of the patient.

Imagen profesionales de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra


Learn why we are different from other healthcare centers. Quality, speed, comfort and results.

Imagen del edificio de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra