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Roth, Christian

Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism

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Implications of gastrointestinal hormones in the pathogenesis of obesity in prepubertal children

Cinzia Bascietto
  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Via Dei Vestini 5, 66100 Chieti, Italy
  • Email:
/ Cosimo Giannini
  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Via Dei Vestini 5, 66100 Chieti, Italy
/ Ebe D’Adamo
  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Via Dei Vestini 5, 66100 Chieti, Italy
/ Tommaso de Giorgis
  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Via Dei Vestini 5, 66100 Chieti, Italy
/ Francesco Chiarelli
  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Via Dei Vestini 5, 66100 Chieti, Italy
/ Angelika Mohn
  • Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Via Dei Vestini 5, 66100 Chieti, Italy
Published Online: 2012-03-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2011-0478

Abstract

Background: There is a worsening high prevalence of global obesity. Special attention has been paid to the gut-endocrine system, represented by the regulators of appetite. In particular, it has been suggested that ghrelin (“hunger” peptide), and obestatin and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) (“satiety” peptides) could play important roles in the pathogenesis of obesity.

Objectives: The aims of this study were to compare fasting plasma ghrelin, obestatin, and GLP-1 levels between obese and nonobese prepubertal children, and to assess their relations with fatness indexes and insulin resistance (IR).

Subjects and methods: Fifty-two prepubertal obese children and 22 controls were enrolled. Fasting levels of gastrointestinal hormones (ghrelin, obestatin, and GLP-1), glucose, and insulin were evaluated. IR was assessed using the homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR) index. Analysis was performed by Mann-Whitney U-test, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Spearman’s correlation.

Results: Obese prepubertal children and normal-weight controls had similar age distribution. Obese children were more insulin resistant when compared to controls (HOMA-IR: p<0.01). GLP-1 levels were significantly lower in obese children than in controls (p<0.01). Obestatin was significantly higher in obese than normal-weight children (p<0.01), while ghrelin was not different. There was a negative correlation between GLP-1 and standard deviation score-body mass index (r=–0.36, p=0.009) and between GLP-1 and waist circumference (r=–0.45, p=0.001), while no association was observed with HOMA-IR.

Conclusions: GLP-1 levels have been shown to be correlated with adiposity indexes, but not with HOMA-IR, suggesting that this hormone could play an important role in the early development of obesity.

Keywords: children; ghrelin; glucagon-like peptide 1; obesity; obestatin

About the article

Corresponding author: Cinzia Bascietto, MD, Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Via Dei Vestini 5, 66100 Chieti, Italy Phone: +39 0871358827, Fax: +39 0871574831


Received: 2011-12-16

Accepted: 2012-01-13

Published Online: 2012-03-19

Published in Print: 2012-04-01


Citation Information: Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, ISSN (Online) 2191-0251, ISSN (Print) 0334-018X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpem-2011-0478. Export Citation

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