Background/Objective:Osteopontin (OPN) and IL-18 are known inflammatory mediators and both participate in a wide range of biological processes linked to immunological disorders. Since an interaction between OPN and IL-18 has not been studied in obesity, we investigated whether: (i) their levels were simultaneously elevated in obese individuals; (ii) OPN was associated with IL-18 in obese individuals and (iii) their levels associated with fasting blood glucose (FBG) and BMI.Subjects and Methods:PBMCs and plasma samples were isolated from 60 individuals including lean as well as overweight and obese individuals. Subcutaneous adipose tissue samples were obtained. OPN and IL-18 were measured by ELISA. OPN and IL-18 mRNA expression was quantified by real time quantitative RT-PCR.Results:Obese individuals exhibited significantly increased circulating OPN levels as compared with lean individuals (obese 2865±101; lean 1681±116 pg/ml; P<0.0001). IL-18 levels were also high in obese individuals (obese 491±39, lean 301±26 pg/ml; P = 0.0009). OPN and IL-18 expression were simultaneously up-regulated (OPN: 5.4-Fold; IL-18: 8.9-Fold; P<0.05) in PBMCs from obese individuals compared to lean group. Adipose tissue from obese individuals had high expression of OPN (7.3-Fold) and IL-18 (9.6-Fold). Plasma OPN levels correlated positively with FBG levels (r = 0.32, P = 0.02). Similarly, IL-18 correlated positively with FBG levels (r = 0.406, P = 0.0042). Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed an independent association of BMI with OPN and IL-18. Interestingly, OPN levels increased progressively with an increase in IL-18 levels (r = 0.52, P = 0.0004). We also examined the regulatory role of IL-18 in OPN secretion from PBMCs. Neutralizing anti-IL-18Rα mAb reduced OPN secretion.Conclusion:These findings represent the first observation that plasma, PBMC and adipose tissue OPN and IL-18 are simultaneously increased and correlate with each other in overweight/obese individuals which may trigger the development of obesity-associated insulin resistance. Moreover, these results provide the direct evidence that IL-18 regulates OPN production in PBMCs.