Molecular Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 11–12, pp 1157–1167 | Cite as

Increased Levels of Calprotectin in Obesity Are Related to Macrophage Content: Impact on Inflammation and Effect of Weight Loss

  • Victoria Catalán
  • Javier Gómez-Ambrosi
  • Amaia Rodríguez
  • Beatriz Ramírez
  • Fernando Rotellar
  • Victor Valentí
  • Camilo Silva
  • María J. Gil
  • José Manuel Fernández-Real
  • Javier Salvador
  • Gema Frühbeck
Research Article


Calprotectin has been recently described as a novel marker of obesity. The aim of this study was to determine the circulating concentrations and expression levels of calprotectin subunits (S100A8 and S100A9) in visceral adipose tissue (VAT), exploring its impact on insulin resistance and inflammation and the effect of weight loss. We included 53 subjects in the study. Gene expression levels of the S100A8/A9 complex were analyzed in VAT as well as in both adipocytes and stromovascular fraction cells (SVFCs). In addition, circulating calprotectin and soluble receptor for the advanced glycation end product (sRAGE) concentrations were measured before and after weight loss achieved by Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) (n = 26). Circulating concentrations and VAT expression of S100A8/A9 complex were increased in normoglycemic and type 2 diabetic obese patients (P < 0.01) and associated with markers of inflammation (P < 0.01). Oppositely, concentrations of sRAGE were significantly lower (P < 0.001) in both obese groups compared to lean volunteers. Elevated calprotectin levels in obese patients decreased (P < 0.00001) after RYGB, whereas sRAGE concentrations tended to increase. Calprotectin was mainly expressed by SVFCs, and its expression was significantly correlated (P < 0.01) with mRNA levels of the monocyte-macrophage-related molecules macrophage-specifc antigen CD68 (CD68), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP1), integrin α-M (CD11B), and NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2). Tumor necrosis factor-α treatment significantly enhanced (P < 0.05) the mRNA levels of S100 calcium-binding protein A8 (S100A8) of human visceral adipocytes. The increased levels of calprotectin in obesity and obesity-associated type 2 diabetes, its positive association with inflammation as well as the higher expression levels in the SVFCs in VAT suggests a potential role of this protein as a chemotactic factor in the recruitment of macrophages to VAT, increasing inflammation and the development of obesity-associated comorbidities.



This work was supported by Fondo de Investigacíon Sanitaria (FIS) PI09/02330 from the Spanish Instituto de Salud Carlos III, by the Department of Health (20/2005 and 3/2006) of the Gobierno de Navarra of Spain and by Plan de Investigacion de la Universidad de Navarra (PIUNA) (2009–2011).

The authors gratefully acknowledge the valuable collaboration of all the members of the Multidisciplinary Obesity Team, Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. CIBER de Fisiopatologia de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN) is an initiative of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain.


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Copyright information

© The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria Catalán
    • 1
    • 2
  • Javier Gómez-Ambrosi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Amaia Rodríguez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Beatriz Ramírez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fernando Rotellar
    • 2
    • 3
  • Victor Valentí
    • 2
    • 3
  • Camilo Silva
    • 2
    • 4
  • María J. Gil
    • 2
    • 5
  • José Manuel Fernández-Real
    • 2
    • 6
  • Javier Salvador
    • 2
    • 4
  • Gema Frühbeck
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Metabolic Research LaboratoryClínica Universidad de NavarraPamplonaSpain
  2. 2.CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y NutritiónInstituto de Salud Carlos IIIPamplonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryClínica Universidad de NavarraPamplonaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Endocrinology and NutritionClínica Universidad de NavarraPamplonaSpain
  5. 5.Department of BiochemistryClínica Universidad de NavarraPamplonaSpain
  6. 6.Department of Diabetes, and Endocrinology and NutritionInstitut d’Investigació BiomédicaGironaSpain

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