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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 674106, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/674106
Research Article

Gut Microbiota, Microinflammation, Metabolic Profile, and Zonulin Concentration in Obese and Normal Weight Subjects

1Pathophysiology Unit, Department of Pathophysiology, Medical University of Silesia, University of Silesia, 18 Medyków Street, 40-752 Katowice, Poland
2Health Promotion and Obesity Management Unit, Department of Pathophysiology, Medical University of Silesia, University of Silesia, 18 Medyków Street, 40-752 Katowice, Poland
3Department of Medical Microbiology, Medical University of Silesia, University of Silesia, 18 Medyków Street, 40-752 Katowice, Poland

Received 3 April 2013; Revised 22 May 2013; Accepted 12 June 2013

Academic Editor: Malgorzata Kotula-Balak

Copyright © 2013 Agnieszka Żak-Gołąb et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The association between gut microbiota and circulating zonulin level, a marker of intestinal permeability, has not been studied yet. The aim of the study is the assessment of plasma zonulin, haptoglobin and proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6) levels in relation to composition of gut microbiota in obese and normal weight subjects. Circulating inflammation markers, such as TNF-α, sTNFR1, sTNFR2, IL-6, zonulin, and haptoglobin levels were measured and semiquantitative analysis of gut microbiota composition was carried out in 50 obese and 30 normal weight subjects without concomitant diseases. Higher circulating zonulin, TNF-α, sTNFR1, sTNFR2, and IL-6 levels were found in the obese subjects. Plasma zonulin level correlated positively with age ( , ), body mass ( , ), BMI ( , ), fat mass and fat percentage ( , and , , resp.). Positive correlations between bacterial colony count and sTNFR1 ( , ) and plasma zonulin ( , ) but not haptoglobin levels were found. Additionally, plasma zonulin level was proportional to daily energy intake ( , ) and serum glucose concentration ( , ) and inversely proportional to diet protein percentage ( , ). Gut microbiota-related systemic microinflammation in the obese is reflected by circulating zonulin level, a potential marker of interstitial permeability.