• android-type obesity;
  • C-peptide;
  • endothelin-1;
  • endothelial dysfunction;
  • serum TNF-α;
  • levels


Aims The aim of the study was to analyse the role of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction in patients with different types of obesity.

Patients and methods Fasting serum TNF-α immunoreactive concentration (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, ELISA) and bioactivity (L929 cell cytotoxicity assay), endothelin-1 and C-peptide levels (radioimmunoassay, RIA) were measured in 15 patients with android- and 13 patients with gynoid-type obesity and 15 lean healthy controls with normal glucose tolerance and blood pressure.

Results Significantly (P< 0.01) higher TNF-α concentration (8.92 ± 0.44 pg/ml) and bioactivity (3.12 ± 0.48 U/ml) were found in patients with android obesity as compared to patients with gynoid obesity (7.01 ± 0.30 pg/ml, 0.97 ± 0.11 U/ml) and to the lean controls (6.88 ± 0.26 pg/ml, 0.88 ± 0.08 U/ml). Serum endothelin-1 (5.38 ± 0.30 pg/ml) and C-peptide levels (4.82 ± 0.71 ng/ml) were also significantly higher (P < 0.01) in patients with android-type obesity than in controls (3.89 ± 0.43 pg/ml, 1.46 ± 0.25 ng/ml, respectively). In patients with gynoid-type obesity, only the C-peptide levels proved to be significantly higher (2.84 ± 0.29 ng/ml). Endothelin-1 levels, although were found to be slightly higher, did not differ statistically from in controls (4.56 ± 0.31 pg/ml). There were significant positive linear correlations only in patients with android-type obesity between TNF-α, body mass index (BMI), serum endothelin-1 and C-peptide levels.

Conclusions TNF-α may be one of the factors contributing to insulin resistance and vascular dysfunction in patients with android obesity.

Diabet. Med. 16, 207–211 (1999)