Based on a review of published studies, this is the first study to evaluate the relationship between serum nesfatin-1 levels and metabolic and anthropometric parameters in children and adolescents. Serum nesfatin-1 levels were negatively correlated with BMI. Our data suggests that low levels of the nesfatin-1 might contribute to inadequately controlled food intake in children and adolescents with obesity.
Previous clinical studies have had conflicting results about the association between BMI SDS and serum nesfatin-1 levels. Initial studies showed a negative correlation between nesfatin-1 levels and BMI in healthy people.[9,18] Abaci et al found a significant negative correlation between BMI and serum nesfatin-1 levels in obese children. In our study, nesfatin-1 was negatively correlated with BMI SDS in children and adolescents, consistent with previous studies conducted among adult population.[9,18,19] In contrast, other studies found a positive correlation between BMI and serum nesfatin-1 levels in adult population.[2,10] Anwar et al found a positive correlation between serum nesfatin-1 and BMI SDS in obese children. Differences in assessment methods (such as ELISA for NUCB2 and nesfatin-1 vs sandwich-type ELISA that recognizes only nesfatin-1), experimental conditions, commercial kits, and populations might contribute to these discrepancies.
This study had several limitations. First, age, sex, and puberty stage could not be matched between the obese/overweight group and the normal weight group because of the small number of cases. Further studies with a larger number of patients could resolve this limitation by matched case-control studies or stratified subgroup analysis. Second, serum insulin measurements were done in a small number of patients so conclusions could not be made about the relationship between serum nesfatin-1 levels and insulin resistance (i.e., HOMA-IR). Finally, although this study included patients with consecutive BMI SDS measurements, small number of patients with extreme values of BMI SDS (>2.0 and ≤ −2.0) were included. Therefore, the effect of BMI SDS on serum nesfatin-1 levels could not be sufficiently investigated.
This study was supported by the Pediatric Research Fund of Korean Society of Pediatric Endocrinology (grant No. 2014-02).
Shin Hee Kim orcid: 0000-0002-8405-5417.
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