TNF-α system and lung function impairment in obesity

A. Lecube, G. Sampol, X. Muñoz, R. Ferrer, C. Hernández, R. Simó

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16 Citations (Scopus)


A potential interaction between pulmonary function, abnormal adipose tissue activity, and systemic inflammation has been suggested. This study explores the relationship between circulating soluble TNF-α receptors (sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2) and respiratory function parameters in obese subjects. Thirty-one non-diabetic morbidly obese women with a history of non-smoking and without prior cardiovascular or respiratory disease were prospectively recruited in the outpatient Obesity Unit of a referral center. Pulmonary function test included a forced spirometry, static pulmonary volume measurements, non-attended respiratory polygraphy, and arterial gas blood sampling. Circulating levels of sTNFR-R1, sTNF-R2, interleukine 6 and adiponectin were determined using ELISA. Statistical analysis included a multivariate regression analysis taking into account the potential confounders. sTNF-R1 positively correlated with BMI (r=0.571, p=0.001) and arterial carbon dioxide pressure (PaCO2, r=0.381, p=0.038), but negatively with forced expiratory volume in 1s (FEV1, r=-0.437, p=0.012), maximum midexpiratory flow (FEF25-75, r=-0.370, p=0.040) and forced vital capacity (FVC, r=-0.483, p=0.005). However, no correlation between sTNF-R2 and BMI and either pulmonary function tests or arterial blood samples was observed. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that sTNF-R1 independently predicted FEV1 (beta=-0.437, p=0.012) and FVC (beta=-0.483, p=0.005). Thus, circulating levels of sTNF-R1, but not sTNF-R2, are related to reduced lung volumes and airflow limitation in morbidly obese patients prior to the development of a clinically recognized respiratory disease. Therefore, studies addressed to evaluating the potential beneficial effect of anti-TNF-α agents on pulmonary function tests in obese subjects seem warranted. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-124
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


  • Inflammation
  • Obesity
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Tumor necrosis factor


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