Relationship between the Plasma Proteome and Changes in Inflammatory Markers after Bariatric Surgery

Helene A Fachim, Zohaib Iqbal, J Martin Gibson, Ivona Baricevic-Jones, Amy E Campbell, Bethany Geary, Akheel A Syed, Antony Whetton, Handrean Soran, Rachelle P Donn, Adrian H Heald

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Severe obesity is a disease associated with multiple adverse effects on health. Metabolic bariatric surgery (MBS) can have significant effects on multiple body systems and was shown to improve inflammatory markers in previous short-term follow-up studies. We evaluated associations between changes in inflammatory markers (CRP, IL6 and TNFα) and circulating proteins after MBS.

METHODS: Sequential window acquisition of all theoretical mass spectra (SWATH-MS) proteomics was performed on plasma samples taken at baseline (pre-surgery) and 6 and 12 months after MBS, and concurrent analyses of inflammatory/metabolic parameters were carried out. The change in absolute abundances of those proteins, showing significant change at both 6 and 12 months, was tested for correlation with the absolute and percentage (%) change in inflammatory markers.

RESULTS: We found the following results: at 6 months, there was a correlation between %change in IL-6 and fold change in HSPA4 (rho = -0.659; p = 0.038) and in SERPINF1 (rho = 0.714, p = 0.020); at 12 months, there was a positive correlation between %change in IL-6 and fold change in the following proteins-LGALS3BP (rho = 0.700, p = 0.036), HSP90B1 (rho = 0.667; p = 0.05) and ACE (rho = 0.667, p = 0.05). We found significant inverse correlations at 12 months between %change in TNFα and the following proteins: EPHX2 and ACE (for both rho = -0.783, p = 0.013). We also found significant inverse correlations between %change in CRP at 12 months and SHBG (rho = -0.759, p = 0.029), L1CAM (rho = -0.904, p = 0.002) and AMBP (rho = -0.684, p = 0.042).

CONCLUSION: Using SWATH-MS, we identified several proteins that are involved in the inflammatory response whose levels change in patients who achieve remission of T2DM after bariatric surgery in tandem with changes in IL6, TNFα and/or CRP. Future studies are needed to clarify the underlying mechanisms in how MBS decreases low-grade inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2798
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2021


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Diabetes remission
  • Inflammatory markers
  • Proteomics


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