Relationship between insulin resistance, inflammation and liver cell apoptosis in patients with severe obesity




In obesity, insulin resistance appears frequently after activation of proinflammatory molecules. Caspase-generated cytokeratin-18 (CK-18) fragments are produced during the apoptosis of hepatic cells. The main objective in the present study is to investigate the relationship between insulin resistance and caspase-generated CK-18 fragments in patients with severe obesity.


Sixty-two patients selected for bariatric surgery were clinically studied (sex, age, weight, waist diameter, body mass index, arterial pressure and type 2 diabetes mellitus) and analytic parameters were measured in blood (glucose concentration, cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, glycosylated hemoglobin, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, adiponectin, interleukin 6, interleukin 18 and CK-18 fragments). Patient group division was based on 70th percentile of insulin resistance as measured by homeostasis model asssessment (HOMA) and also according to liver histology.


Patients with greater insulin resistance (percentile > 70th) showed higher values of CK-18 fragments, interleukin 6 and transaminases. A positive correlation between the HOMA score, value of CK-18 fragments and triglyceride level was found. A correlation between CK-18 fragments with interleukin 6, triglycerides and transaminases was also observed. HOMA score and value of CK-18 fragments correlated with the degree of liver fibrosis.


Greater degree of insulin resistance induces apoptosis of hepatic cells as measured by the serum levels of CK-18 fragments. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.