Macrophage activation marker sCD163 is associated with liver injury and hepatic insulin resistance in obese patients before and after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

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BACKGROUND: Macrophages are associated with metabolic complications to obesity including fatty liver disease and impaired hepatic and muscle insulin sensitivity (IS). Bariatric surgery induces weight loss and improves IS. We investigated associations between the macrophage activation marker soluble (s)CD163, alanine-aminotransferase (ALT), and IS before and after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB).

METHODS: We analyzed sCD163 from 10 type 2 diabetes (T2D) and 10 obese patients with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) undergoing RYGB for associations with hepatic, adipose tissue, and muscle IS and ALT after 1-week, 3, and 12 months postoperatively. IS was evaluated by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp in combination with glucose tracer technique.

RESULTS: Preoperative sCD163 correlated with ALT (r = 0.58, p = 0.007) and tended to associate inversely with hepatic (r = -0.39, p = 0.1) and adipose tissue (r = -0.39, p = 0.09), but not muscle IS. Following RYGB, sCD163 decreased significantly in all patients. The decrease in sCD163 during the first 3 months correlated inversely with the improvement of hepatic IS (r = -0.65, p = 0.01) and tended to be associated with changes in muscle IS (r = -0.45, p = 0.09). After 3 months sCD163 remained associated with ALT (r = 0.75, p < 0.001) and inversely with hepatic IS (r = -0.39, p = 0.1), but not muscle or adipose tissue IS. One year after RYGB, sCD163 correlated with ALT (r = 0.61, p = 0.007), but not with hepatic, adipose tissue, or muscle IS.

CONCLUSION: Macrophage activation is associated with liver injury and hepatic IS in obese patients. Improvements in these measures correlate during the first 3 months following RYGB, supporting a link between macrophages and hepatic IS in severe obesity and diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15157
JournalPhysiological Reports
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.

    Research areas

  • ADIPOSE-TISSUE, CELLS, DISEASE, Kupffer cells, NONALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER, SENSITIVITY, SOLUBLE CD163, adiposity, bariatric surgery, diabetes

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