Cytokine profiling of young overweight and obese female African American adults with prediabetes

Rudolf Lucas, Samip J. Parikh, Supriya Sridhar, De Huang Guo, Jigar Bhagatwala, Yutong Dong, Ruth Caldwell, Andrew Mellor, William Caldwell, Haidong Zhu, Yanbin Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Approximately 5-10% of subjects with prediabetes become diabetic every year. Inflammation is involved in the development of obesity-related type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, to date, the relationship between inflammation and prediabetes, defined by hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) ≥5.7 and <6.5%, remains largely unexplored, especially in African Americans. Therefore, in this study we examined a comprehensive panel of 13 cytokines involved in the inflammatory response in overweight/obese subjects with prediabetes. A total of 21 otherwise healthy, overweight/obese, young adult African American females with prediabetes, together with 20 matched overweight/obese controls, were selected for this study. Plasma cytokines were assessed by multiplex cytokine profiling. Plasma concentrations of interleukin (IL)-5, IL-6, IL-7, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) were significantly higher in the prediabetic group, as compared to the control group (all p<. 0.05). Plasma concentrations of all the other cytokines, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70 and IL-13, seemed to be elevated in the prediabetic group, but failed to reach statistical significances. Upon merging both groups, HbA1c was found to be positively correlated with IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-5, IL-7, IL-8, TNF-α and GM-CSF. This study demonstrates elevated levels of various pro-inflammatory cytokines in overweight/obese young subjects with prediabetes, which place them at higher risk of developing T2D and cardiovascular diseases. Our data also call for further investigations in animal models and population cohorts to establish the roles of a variety of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the early development of obesity-related T2D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-315
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • African American
  • Cytokines
  • HbA1c
  • Obesity
  • Prediabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology


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