Metabolic profiling of visceral adipose tissue from obese subjects with or without metabolic syndrome

Eleonora Candi, Manfredi Tesauro, Carmine Cardillo, Anna Maria Lena, Francesca Schinzari, Giuseppe Rodia, Giuseppe Sica, Paolo Gentileschi, Valentina Rovella, Margherita Annicchiarico-Petruzzelli, Nicola Di Daniele, Gerry Melino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obesity represents one of the most complex public health challenges and has recently reached epidemic proportions. Obesity is also considered to be primarily responsible for the rising prevalence of metabolic syndrome, defined as the coexistence in the same individual of several risk factors for atherosclerosis, including dyslipidemia, hypertension and hyperglycemia, as well as for cancer. Additionally, the presence of three of the five risk factors (abdominal obesity, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high triglycerides, high fasting glucose and high blood pressure) characterizes metabolic syndrome, which has serious clinical consequences. The current study was conducted in order to identify metabolic differences in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) collected from obese (body mass index 43–48) human subjects who were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, obese individuals who were metabolically healthy and nonobese healthy controls. Extensive gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) analyses were used to obtain the untargeted VAT metabolomic profiles of 481 metabolites belonging to all biochemical pathways. Our results indicated consistent increases in oxidative stress markers from the pathologically obese samples in addition to subtle markers of elevated glucose levels that may be consistent with metabolic syndrome. In the tissue derived from the pathologically obese subjects, there were significantly elevated levels of plasmalogens, which may be increased in response to oxidative changes in addition to changes in glycerolphosphorylcholine, glycerolphosphorylethanolamine glycerolphosphorylserine, ceramides and sphingolipids. These data could be potentially helpful for recognizing new pathways that underlie the metabolic–vascular complications of obesity and may lead to the development of innovative targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1035
Number of pages17
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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