Background and aims: A novel bioactive peptide, mitochondrial-derived peptide (MOTS-c), has recently attracted attention as a potential prevention or therapeutic option for obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). MOTS-c profiles have not yet been reported in human obesity and T2DM. We aimed to determine circulating MOTS-c levels in obesity and explore the association between MOTS-c levels and various metabolic parameters. Methods: In this case-control study, 40 obese children and adolescents (27 males) and 57 controls (40 males) were recruited in the Hubei Province of China in 2017. Circulating MOTS-c levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), clinical data (e.g., glucose, insulin and lipid profile) were recorded, and anthropometric measurements were performed. Finally, we investigated correlations between MOTS-c levels and related variables. Results: MOTS-c levels were significantly decreased in the obese group compared with the control group (472.61±22.83 ng/ml vs. 561.64±19.19 ng/ml, P < 0.01). After classification by sex, MOTS-c levels were significantly decreased in obese male children and adolescents compared to their counterparts (465.26±24.53 ng/ml vs. 584.07±21.18 ng/ml, P < 0.001), while they were comparable between the obese and healthy female subjects (487.89±49.77 ng/ml vs. 508.85±38.76 ng/ml, P > 0.05). Further, MOTS-c levels were negatively correlated with BMI, BMI S.D. score, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, fasting insulin level, HOMA-IR, and HbA1c in the male cohort.
Conclusions: Circulating MOTS-c levels were decreased in obese male children and adolescents and correlated with markers of insulin resistance and obesity. Although the role of MOTS-c as a treatment for obesity and diabetes in humans will requires further investigation, it is possible that a decline in MOTS-c might be a biomarker of insulin resistance during childhood obesity.
27 - 29 Sep 2018
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology