Background and aims: Neurotensin (NT) is an intestinal peptide released after fat ingestion, which regulates appetite and facilitates lipid absorption. Elevated plasma levels of its stable precursor pro-neurotensin (pro-NT) are associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular mortality in adult populations; no data on pro-NT and metabolic disease are available in children. Aim of the study was to evaluate plasma pro-NT in relation to the presence of obesity in children, and to test if high pro-NT associates with the development of metabolic impairment later in life. Methods and results: For this longitudinal retrospective study, we studied 151 overweight/obese children undergoing metabolic evaluations at University of Cagliari, Italy. Pro-NT was also assessed in 46 normal-weight, age-, sex-comparable normal-weight children, selected as a reference group. At the baseline, pro-NT was comparable between overweight/obese and normal-weight children and correlated positively with age (p < 0.001), triglycerides (p < 0.001) and inversely with HDL levels (p = 0.008). Plasma pro-NT associated with high triglycerides with OR = 5.9 (95%CI: 1.24–28.1; p = 0.026) after adjustment for multiple confounders. At the 6.5-year follow-up, high basal pro-NT associated with impaired β-cell function to compensate for insulin-resistance (disposition index: r = −0.19, p = 0.035) and predicted bodyweight increase, as indicated by percentage change of standard deviation score BMI (median(95%CI) = +20.8(+4.9-+27.5)% in the highest tertile), independently from age, sex, triglycerides and insulin-resistance (standardized β = 0.24; p = 0.036). Conclusions: Elevated pro-NT levels in children are significantly associated with weight gain later in life and may represent a marker of susceptibility to metabolic impairment in presence of obesity.
|Titolo:||Circulating pro-neurotensin levels predict bodyweight gain and metabolic alterations in children|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|