Interleukin-6, Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha and Metabolic Disorders in Youth

Konstantinos Kitsios, Maria Papadopoulou, Konstantina Kosta, Nikolaos Kadoglou, Dimitrios Chatzidimitriou, Fani Chatzopoulou, Maria Papagianni, Kiriaki Tsiroukidou, Nikolaos Malisiovas


Background: To compare Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Tumor Necrosis Factor a (TNFalpha) levels in obese and overweight youth to their normal weight counterparts. Furthermore, we compared IL-6 and TNFalpha levels in obese and overweight individuals with and without additional metabolic disorders such as Metabolic Syndrome (MS), Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and prediabetes.

Methods: All 54 consecutive obese children and adolescents with Body Mass Index (BMI)>= 95th centile and 50 overweight children and adolescents with 85th BMI < 95th were screened for MS, prediabetes and NAFLD. Serum IL-6 and TNFalpha were measured in all the participants and in 40 normal weight age-matched individuals (controls).

Results: IL-6 levels were increased in obese children and adolescents compared to the controls (2.4 1.9 vs 1.0 0.5 pg/mL, P < 0.001) and to the overweight participants (1.5 1.2 pg/mL, P < 0.014). IL-6 was also elevated in overweight compared to normal weight youth (P = 0.027) and in youth with MS compared to their counterparts without MS (2.9 1.9 vs 1.7 1.5 pg/mL, P = 0.013). TNFalpha levels were comparable between obese and normal weight (2.1 1.2 vs 2.0 0.6 pg/mL respectively, P = 0.805), overweight and normal weight (2.0 1.0 pg/mL, P = 0.834), obese and overweight participants (P = 0.997). Obese and overweight individuals with NAFLD had elevated levels of TNFalpha compared to their counterparts with normal liver (2.7 1.1 vs 1.0 1.0 pg/mL, P = 0.005).

Conclusions: Youth with excessive weight have elevated IL-6 levels, especially in the presence of MS. TNFalpha levels, although comparable between normal weight and excessive weight youth, are raised in overweight and obese individuals with NAFLD.

J Endocrinol Metab. 2012;2(3):120-127


Obesity; Metabolic syndrome; Prediabetes; Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Inflammation

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