Gender-specific association of body composition with inflammatory and adipose-related markers in healthy elderly Europeans from the NU-AGE study

A. Santoro, G. Guidarelli, R. Ostan, E. Giampieri, C. Fabbri, C. Bertarelli, C. Nicoletti, F. Kadi, L.C.P.G.M. de Groot, E. Feskens, A. Berendsen, A. Brzozowska, O.Januszko, K. Kozlowska, S. Fairweather-Tait, A. Jennings, N. Meunier, E. Caumon, A. Napoli, D. Mercatelli, G. Battista, M. Capri, C. Franceschi, A. Bazzocchi

Eur Radiol. 2019 Feb 4. doi: 10.1007/s00330-018-5973-2. [Epub ahead of print]

The aim of this work was to examine the cross-sectional relationship between body composition (BC) markers for adipose and lean tissue and bone mass, and a wide range of specific inflammatory and adipose-related markers in healthy elderly Europeans.

A whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan was made in 1121 healthy (65-79 years) women and men from five European countries of the "New dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of elderly population for a healthy aging in Europe" project (NCT01754012) cohort to measure markers of adipose and lean tissue and bone mass. Pro-inflammatory (IL-6, IL-6Rα, TNF-α, TNF-R1, TNF-R2, pentraxin 3, CRP, alpha-1-acid glycoprotein, albumin) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10, TGF-β1) molecules as well as adipose-related markers such as leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin, and resistin were measured by magnetic bead-based multiplex-specific immunoassays and biochemical assays.

BC characteristics were different in elderly women and men, and more favorable BC markers were associated with a better adipose-related inflammatory profile, with the exception of skeletal muscle mass index. No correlation was found with the body composition markers and circulating levels of some standard pro- and anti-inflammatory markers like IL-6, pentraxin 3, IL-10, TGF-β1, TNF-α, IL-6Rα, glycoprotein 130, TNF-α-R1, and TNF-α-R2.

Comment: The association between BC and inflammatory and adipose-related biomarkers is crucial in decoding aging and pathophysiological processes, such as sarcopenia. DXA can help in understanding how the measurement of fat and muscle is important, making the way from research to clinical practice.