Background: Intramuscular triglycerides (IMTGs) represent an important energy supply and a dynamic fat-storage depot that can expand during periods of elevated lipid availability and a fatty acid source. Ultrasonography (US) of human skeletal muscles is a practical and reproducible method to assess both IMTG presence and entity. Although a crosstalk between cytokines in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue has been suggested in obesity, condition leading to hepatic steatosis (HS) or better defined as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and cancer, there are still questions to be answered about the role of interferons (IFNs), alpha as well as gamma, and IMTG in obesity. We aimed at discovering any correlation between IFNs and IMTG. Methods: We analysed anthropometric data, metabolic parameters and imaging features of a population of 80 obese subjects with low-prevalence of co-morbidities but HS in relation to IFNs serum levels. A population of 38 healthy subjects (21 males) served as controls. The levels of serum IFNs were detected by a magnetic bead-based multiplex immunoassays. Results: Serum concentrations of IFN-alpha 2 were increased, while serum levels of IFN-gamma were decreased confronted with those of controls; the severity of IMTG, revealed at US as Heckmatt scores, was inversely predicted by IFN-alpha 2 serum concentrations; IMTG scores were not predicted by serum levels of IFN-gamma; IMTG scores were predicted by HS severity, ascertained at US; HS severity was predicted by visceral adipose tissue, assessed by US, but the latter was not instrumental to IMTG. Discussion and conclusion: This study has added some pieces of observation about the cytokine network regulating the interplay between IMTG and obesity in obese patients with HS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)