Downregulation of leptin and resistin expression in blood following bariatric surgery

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Surgical Endoscopy








Bariatric surgery; Genomics; Leptin; Resistin; Type 2 diabetes


Background Type 2 diabetes (T2D) resolves rapidly after bariatric surgery, even before substantial weight is lost. However, the molecular pathways underlying this phenomenon remain unclear. Microarray data has shown that numerous genes are differentially expressed in blood after bariatric surgery, including resistin and leptin. Resistin and leptin are circulating hormones derived from adipose tissue, which are associated with obesity and insulin resistance. This study examined expression of these genes before and after bariatric surgery in diabetic and nondiabetic obese patients. Methods The study included 16 obese patients who underwent bariatric surgery, either Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) or adjustable gastric banding. Eight patients had T2D. Preoperative blood samples were collected in PAXgene tubes to stabilize mRNA. Postoperative samples were collected 3 months after surgery. Total RNA was isolated and cDNA was synthesized. Real-time quantitative PCR was used to quantify mRNA. Results were analyzed using Student's t test with a p<0.05 considered significant. Results Postoperatively, five diabetic patients had discontinued hypoglycemic medications and one showed improved glycemic control. Both leptin and resistin mRNA levels were elevated in the diabetic group but decreased after surgery to levels near those of the nondiabetic group. Greater downregulation of resistin and leptin expression occurred in patients who lost more excess body weight (EBW), while patients who lost less than 10% EBW had a mean increase in expression of the two genes. Downregulation of both genes was more pronounced after RYGB compared to gastric banding. Conclusions Downregulation of resistin and leptin gene expression after bariatric surgery may play a role in normalizing obesity-associated insulin resistance. Interestingly, downregulation is greater after RYGB and in patients who lose a greater proportion of EBW. Targeted therapies for obesity and diabetes may be developed by understanding the pathways by which these adipocytokines contribute to obesity and T2D. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010.

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