Profiling of Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins (IGFBPs) in Obesity and Their Association With Ox-LDL and Hs-CRP in Adolescents

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Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) are critical modulators of metabolism. In adults, IGFBPs are associated with obesity and insulin resistance. However, the association of IGFBPs with metabolic homeostasis in children and adolescents is not yet fully characterized. In this study we investigated the association of plasma IGFBPs (IGFBP-1, 3 and 7) with weight, central adiposity and cardiovascular disease markers Hs-CRP and Ox-LDL. A total of 420 adolescents (age 11-14 years) were recruited from public middle schools in Kuwait. IGFBPs were measured using bead-based multiplexing while Hs-CRP and Ox-LDL were measured using ELISA. Results showed that levels of IGFBP-1 were significantly lower in obese and overweight children when compared to normal weight children. Correlation analysis showed negative association between the level of IGFBP-1 and waist circumference to height (WC/Ht) ratio. IGFBP-1 level was also negatively associated with Hs-CRP. It was also observed that the levels of IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-7 were negatively correlated with Ox-LDL. Our data demonstrate a strong negative association of IGFBP-1 with overweight/obesity, and the inflammatory marker Hs-CRP. This was not seen with the levels of IGFBP-3 and 7. The association of IGFBP-1 with central adiposity (WC/Ht ratio) was stronger than its association with BMI-for-age z-score. Therefore we suggest that IGFBP-1 could potentially be used as a sensitive biomarker for obesity and its subsequent effects in screening and monitoring of obesity-related metabolic complications in adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number727004
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2021


  • adolescents
  • high sensitivity C-reactive protein
  • insulin-like growth factor binding proteins
  • obesity
  • oxidized low-density lipoprotein


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