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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

IL-33 is negatively associated with the BMI and confers a protective lipid/metabolic profile in non-diabetic but not diabetic subjects

Amal Hasan1, Fahad Al-Ghimlas2, Samia Warsame4, Asma Al-Hubail3, Rasheed Ahmad1, Abdullah Bennakhi5, Monira Al-Arouj5, Kazem Behbehani5, Mohammed Dehbi4 and Said Dermime16*

Author Affiliations

1 Immunology and Innovative Cell Therapy Unit, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

2 Fitness and Rehabilitation Centre, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

3 Clinical Laboratory, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

4 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unit, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

5 Senior Management, Dasman Diabetes Institute, Kuwait City, Kuwait

6 Biomedical Research Facility, King Khalid Medical City Center for Health Research, King Fahad Specialist Hospital Dammam, MBC-074, Bldg 100, Office 31, PO Box 15215, Dammam 31444, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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BMC Immunology 2014, 15:19  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-15-19

Published: 10 May 2014

Abstract

Objective

Recent studies have demonstrated a protective role for IL-33 against obesity-associated inflammation, atherosclerosis and metabolic abnormalities. IL-33 promotes the production of T helper type 2 (Th2) cytokines, polarizes macrophages towards a protective alternatively activated phenotype, reduces lipid storage and decreases the expression of genes associated with lipid metabolism and adipogenesis. Our objective was to determine the level of serum IL-33 in non-diabetic and diabetic subjects, and to correlate these levels with clinical (BMI and body weight) and metabolic (serum lipids and HbA1c) parameters.

Methods

The level of IL-33 was measured in the serum of lean, overweight and obese non-diabetic and diabetic subjects, and then correlated with clinical and metabolic parameters.

Results

Non-lean subjects had significantly (P = 0.01) lower levels of IL-33 compared to lean controls. IL-33 was negatively correlated with the BMI and body weight in lean and overweight, but not obese (non-diabetic and diabetic), subjects. IL-33 is associated with protective lipid profiles, and is negatively correlated with HbA1c, in non-diabetic (lean, overweight and obese) but not diabetic subjects.

Conclusions

Our data support previous findings showing a protective role for IL-33 against adiposity and atherosclerosis, and further suggest that reduced levels of IL-33 may put certain individuals at increased risk of developing atherosclerosis and insulin resistance. Therefore, IL-33 may serve as a novel marker to predict those who may be at increased risk of developing atherosclerosis.

Keywords:
Interleukin-33; Atherosclerosis; HDL-C; LDL-C; TGL; BMI