Increased placental growth factor (PlGF) concentrations in children and adolescents with obesity and the metabolic syndrome
OBJECTIVE: Childhood obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) are associated with an increased risk for early onset endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Placental growth factor (PlGF), a member of the vascular endothelial growth factor family, plays an important role in atherosclerosis by stimulating angiogenesis and atherogenic migration of monocytes/macrophages into the arterial wall. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in circulating PlGF concentrations between children with obesity/metabolic syndrome and non-obese children. We have previously shown increased high-sensitivity troponin (hs-TnT) concentrations in children with MetS from the same cohort. DESIGN: Fifty-seven obese (49 without and 8 with MetS) and 25 non-obese children (controls) were assessed at the Childhood Obesity Clinic of our Department. Obesity was defined using the IOTF criteria. MetS was defined based on the IDF criteria. PlGF was measured using electrochemiluminescence methodology. RESULTS: Mean PIGF concentrations of obese children were significantly higher (p=0.048) compared with those of the controls. Analysis of the three groups, the obese (without MetS), the MetS and the control, demonstrated a significant difference in PlGF concentrations (p=0.035). Subgroup analysis revealed increased PlGF concentrations in children with the MetS compared to the controls (p=0.009). Troponin had a significant positive correlation with PlGF overall (p=0.003) and in the obese group (p=0.046). CONCLUSIONS: Increased serum concentrations of PlGF, a biomarker of angiogenesis, are found in obese children with the MetS compared to non-obese controls, whereas PlGF correlated positively with troponin. Longitudinal studies may reveal the prognostic role of this biomarker in the progression of atherosclerosis in obese children with the MetS.
Key wordsAngiogenesis Cardiovascular risk Children Metabolic syndrome Obesity PlGF Troponin
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