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Marie Helene Schernthaner-Reiter, Dominik Kasses, Christina Tugendsam, Michaela Riedl, Slobodan Peric, Gerhard Prager, Michael Krebs, Miriam Promintzer-Schifferl, Martin Clodi, Anton Luger and Greisa Vila

Objective

Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is a cardiovascular biomarker belonging to the transforming growth factor-β superfamily. Increased GDF15 concentrations are associated with insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity. We investigated the physiological effects of meal composition and obesity on the regulation of systemic GDF15 levels.

Design

Lean (n = 8) and obese (n = 8) individuals received a carbohydrate- or fat-rich meal, a 75 g oral glucose load (OGTT) or short-term fasting. OGTTs were performed in severely obese patients (n = 6) pre- and post-bariatric surgery.

Methods

Circulating serum GDF15 concentrations were studied in lean and obese individuals in response to different meals, OGTT or short-term fasting, and in severely obese patients pre- and post-bariatric surgery. Regulation of GDF15 mRNA levels and protein release were evaluated in the human hepatic cell line HepG2.

Results

GDF15 concentrations steadily decrease during short-term fasting in lean and obese individuals. Carbohydrate- and fat-rich meals do not influence GDF15, whereas an OGTT leads to a late increase in GDF15 levels. The positive effect of OGTT on GDF15 levels is also preserved in severely obese patients, pre- and post-bariatric surgery. We further studied the regulation of GDF15 mRNA levels and protein release in HepG2, finding that glucose and insulin independently stimulate both GDF15 transcription and secretion.

Conclusion

In summary, high glucose and insulin peaks upregulate GDF15 transcription and release. The nutrient-induced increase in GDF15 levels depends on rapid glucose and insulin excursions following fast-digesting carbohydrates, but not on the amount of calories taken in.

Free access

Marietta Stadler, Larissa Tomann, Angela Storka, Michael Wolzt, Slobodan Peric, Christian Bieglmayer, Giovanni Pacini, Suzanne L Dickson, Helmut Brath, Paul Bech, Rudolf Prager and Márta Korbonits

Objective

To stop smoking is commonly associated with significant weight gain, but the mechanisms for this are poorly understood. We assessed the effects of smoking cessation on body weight, insulin sensitivity, β-cell function, and appetite.

Subjects and methods

Twenty-seven long-term smokers (n=27; nine females/18 males, 28±1 years, 22.9±0.6 kg/m2) attending an ambulatory smoking cessation program in a community hospital in Vienna, Austria were examined at baseline (Visit A; still smoking) and after a minimum of 3 months of smoking abstinence (Visit B; n=14); relapsed smokers were not followed up. Participants underwent 3-h oral glucose tolerance tests and body composition measurements at each study visit. Fasting (QUICKI) and dynamic (oral glucose insulin sensitivity (OGIS)) insulin sensitivity and β-cell secretion (insulinogenic index 140 (IGI40)) were calculated. Food intake was quantified with a free choice buffet. Fasting plasma concentrations of neuropeptide-Y (NPY), peptide-YY (PYY), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1), leptin, ghrelin, and visfatin were measured.

Results

After >3 months' smoking abstinence, body weight, and fat mass were increased (+4 and +22% respectively, P<0.05) and fasting insulin sensitivity deteriorated (QUICKI: post, 0.37±0.02 vs baseline, 0.41±0.2; P<0.05), while OGIS remained unchanged throughout. IGI40 increased by 31% after >3 months' smoking abstinence (P<0.01). Carbohydrate ingestion increased after stopping smoking (P<0.05). NPY fasting levels were increased after >3 months (P<0.05), PYY, GLP1, leptin, ghrelin, and visfatin were unchanged.

Conclusion

Smoking cessation is associated with transient metabolic changes including increased β-cell secretion in response to glucose and fasting insulin resistance. These alterations may be associated with or contribute to the body weight gain after smoking cessation.