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01.12.2014 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology 1/2014

Proteomic analysis allows for early detection of potential markers of metabolic impairment in very young obese children

International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology > Ausgabe 1/2014
Gabriel Á Martos-Moreno, Lucila Sackmann-Sala, Vicente Barrios, Darlene E Berrymann, Shigeru Okada, Jesús Argente, John J Kopchick
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1687-9856-2014-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare lack of any financial or non-financial competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

GAMM and LSS carried out the proteomic studies, participated in data interpretation and drafted the manuscript. VB and SO carried out the immunoassays. DB participated in the result interpretation. JA and JJK conceived of the study, and participated in its design and coordination and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Early diagnosis of initial metabolic derangements in young obese children could influence their management; however, this impairment is frequently not overt, but subtle and undetectable by routinely used clinical assays. Our aim was to evaluate the ability of serum proteomic analysis to detect these incipient metabolic alterations in comparison to standard clinical methods and to identify new candidate biomarkers.


A cross-sectional study of fasting serum samples from twenty-two prepubertal, Caucasian obese (OB; 9.22 ± 1.93 years; 3.43 ± 1.08 BMI-SDS) and twenty-one lean controls (C; 8.50 ± 1.98 years; -0.48 ± 0.81 BMI-SDS) and a prospective study of fasting serum samples from twenty prepubertal, Caucasian obese children (11 insulin resistant [IR]) before (4.77 ± 1.30 BMI-SDS) and after weight reduction (2.57 ± 1.29 BMI-SDS) by conservative treatment in a reference hospital (Pros-OB) was performed. Proteomic analysis (two-dimension-eletrophoresis + mass spectrometry analysis) of serum and comparative evaluation of the sensitivity of routinely used assays in the clinics to detect the observed differences in protein expression level, as well as their relationship with anthropometric features, insulin resistance indexes, lipid profile and adipokine levels were carried out.


Study of the intensity data from proteomic analysis showed a decrease of several isoforms of apolipoprotein-A1, apo-J/clusterin, vitamin D binding protein, transthyretin in OB vs. C, with some changes in these proteins being enhanced by IR and partially reversed after weight loss. Expression of low molecular weight isoforms of haptoglobin was increased in OB, enhanced in IR and again decreased after weight loss, being positively correlated with serum interleukin-6 and NAMPT/visfatin levels. After statistical correction for multiple comparisons, significance remained for a single isoform of low MW haptoglobin (OB vs. C and IR vs. non-IR) and Apo A1 (IR vs. non-IR). Assays routinely used in the clinical setting (ELISA/kinetic nephelometry), only partially confirmed the changes observed by proteomic analysis (ApoA1 and haptoglobin).


Proteomic analysis can allow for the identification of potential new candidate biomarkers as a complement to routinely used assays to detect initial changes in serum markers of inflammation and lipid metabolism impairment in young obese children.
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