Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy induces molecular changes in peripheral white blood cells

Marc Beisani, Stella Pappa, Pau Moreno, Eva Martínez, Jordi Tarascó, Maria Luisa Granada, Rocío Puig, Manel Cremades, Manel Puig-Domingo, Mireia Jordà, Silvia Pellitero, José M. Balibrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

4 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism Background & aims: Peripheral white blood cells (PWBC) may allow for the development of obesity biomarkers. We aimed to investigate the existence of gene expression and DNA methylation changes in PWBC after a very low calorie diet (VLCD) followed by a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), and its correlation with surgical outcomes. Methods: From July 2013 to June 2014, 35 consecutive bariatric patients and 33 healthy lean volunteers were recruited. Molecular data was obtained once on the control group and at 3 different times on the LSG group: 1) at baseline; 2) after 2 weeks of VLCD, right before LSG; and 3) 6 months after LSG. The expression of 12 genes in PWBC was analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction: ghrelin (GHRL), visfatin (NAMPT), insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1), fat mass and obesity-related gene (FTO), leptin (LEP), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG), adiponectin (ADIPOQ), fatty acid synthase (FASN), melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R), fas cell surface death receptor (FAS), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2). Moreover, DNA methylation of GHRL, NAMPT and FAS promoters was analyzed in PWBC by bisulfite pyrosequencing. Results: Seven genes (GHRL, NAMPT, IRS1, FTO, FAS, TNF and CCL2) had detectable expression in PWBC. FTO expression at baseline was lower in patients than in controls (p = 0.042), equalizing after LSG. In patients, FAS expression decreased after VLCD (p = 0.01) and stayed low after LSG (p = 0.015). Also, CCL2 expression decreased 50% after LSG compared to pre-surgical levels (p = 0.016). All studied CpG sites in the GHRL gene promoter followed a consistent pattern of DNA methylation/demethylation. No direct correlation between these molecular changes and surgical outcomes was found at 1-year follow-up. Conclusions: FTO expression increased and FAS and CCL2 expression decreased in PWBC after LSG. Molecular changes did not correlate with surgical outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Epigenetics
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Sleeve gastrectomy


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