Insulin resistance in relation to inflammatory gene expression and metabolic features in apparently healthy obese individuals

  • Parichehr Amiri
  • Mahsa Naghizadeh
  • Behzad Baradaran
  • Maryam Saghafi-Asl
  • Dariush Shanehbandi
  • Susan Mirmajidi
Original Article


The present study aimed to investigate the association of insulin resistance (IR) with inflammatory gene expression levels, metabolic health, lipid profile, and body composition in the apparently healthy obese. In this cross-sectional study, 88 apparently healthy obese subjects were recruited and divided into insulin-resistant and non-insulin-resistant (NIR) groups. Fasting blood samples were taken to determine serum metabolic features. mRNA expression of inflammatory genes were assessed in freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) was used to describe body composition. Among inflammatory genes, toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) mRNA revealed significant upregulation in PBMCs of IR group compared with NIR individuals (p = 0.035). High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, p = 0.04), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, p < 0.001), waist circumference (p = 0.025), and waist to hip ratio (p = 0.013) were significantly different between the two groups. A significant but weak correlation of HDL-C was observed with TLR4 (r = − 0.305; p = 0.011) and myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88, r = − 0.27; p = 0.024) expression level. Also, LDL-C was found to be correlated with TLR4 (r = 0.302; p = 0.012) and MyD88 (r = 0.267; p = 0.027) expression levels. There was also a significant correlation between HOMA-IR and HDL-C (r = − 0.25; p = 0.019). The results of this study indicated the possible link between IR and TLR4. Also, there was a significant correlation between HDL-C and LDL-C as well as between TLR4 and MyD88. Some inflammatory genes and metabolic parameters were also significantly correlated.


Insulin resistance Inflammatory genes Metabolic health Lipid profile Healthy obese 



Blood pressure


Body mass index


Fasting blood sugar


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Homeostasis model of insulin resistance


Insulin resistance


Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Metabolic syndrome


Metabolically healthy obese


Metabolically unhealthy obese


Myeloid differentiation factor 88


Nuclear factor kappa B


Non-insulin resistance


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells


Quantitative insulin sensitivity check index


Type 2 diabetes mellitus


Total cholesterol


TIR-domain containing adaptor-inducing interferon-β


Toll-like receptor 2


Toll-like receptor 4


Waist circumference


Waist/hip ratio



Thanks are due to all who participated in the study.

Authors’ contribution

MSA and PA wrote the study protocol and study design. BB and DS helped with qPCR. MSA and PA analyzed and interpreted the data. PA, MN, and SM helped with the sampling. PA and MSA were involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for content. All authors have given final approval of the version to be published.


This study was financially supported by the Nutrition Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran. The results of this paper were extracted from MSc. thesis of Parichehr Amiri, registered at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parichehr Amiri
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mahsa Naghizadeh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Behzad Baradaran
    • 1
  • Maryam Saghafi-Asl
    • 3
    • 4
  • Dariush Shanehbandi
    • 1
  • Susan Mirmajidi
    • 2
  1. 1.Immunology Research CenterTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  2. 2.Student Research CommitteeTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  3. 3.Nutrition Research Center, Department of Biochemistry and Diet Therapy, School of Nutrition and Food SciencesTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry and Diet Therapy, School of Nutrition and Food SciencesTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran

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