Scientific publications

Serum retinol-binding protein 4 is not increased in obesity or obesity-associated type 2 diabetes mellitus, but is reduced after relevant reductions in body fat following gastric bypass

Aug 1, 2008 | Magazine: Clinical Endocrinology

J. Gómez-Ambrosi (1,5), A. Rodríguez (1,5), V. Catalán (1,5), B. Ramírez (1,5), C. Silva (2,5), F. Rotellar (3,5), M. J. Gil (4,5), J. Salvador (2,5) and G. Frühbeck (1,2,5)

Controversy exists regarding the elevation of serum retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) in human obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In the present study, we have compared serum RBP4 in lean and obese patients with or without T2DM, and analysed the effect of weight loss on serum RBP4.

Forty-two Caucasian subjects were included in the study. Serum RBP4 was measured by ELISA and Western blot. In addition, serum RBP4 was measured in 21 morbidly obese patients before and after 4, 8 and 15 months of weight loss following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP).

No significant effect of either obesity or diabetes on serum RBP4 was observed. Serum RBP4 concentrations (measured by either ELISA or Western blot) did not correlate with body mass index (BMI), body fat or any indicator of glucose metabolism or insulin resistance. Weight loss following RYGBP did not modify serum RBP4 at 15 months (P = 0.472). However, the variations in serum RBP4 were significantly associated with the reduction in body fat (r = 0.48; P = 0.026). Patients loosing over 20% of fat mass (n = 11) showed significantly different RBP4 concentrations compared to those individuals exhibiting smaller adiposity reductions (n = 10) (-11.0 +/- 6.4 vs.+5.8 +/- 3.6 mg/l; P = 0.036). Furthermore, RBP4 levels were significantly reduced at 4 (P = 0.006) and 8 (P = 0.015) months only in those patients loosing over 20% of fat mass.

Serum RBP4 concentrations are not increased in obese patients with or without T2DM. A decrease in RBP4 levels was only observed after surgically induced weight loss accompanied by relevant reductions in body fat. RBP4 might be considered as a dynamic marker of negative energy balance being reduced during weight loss when a negative energy balance threshold is reached. Furthermore, RBP4 variation in the first month after RYGBP may be a predictor of weight loss success.

CITATION  Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2008 Aug;69(2):208-15