To examine which inflammatory markers are associated with bone mass and whether this association varies according to muscular fitness in children with overweight/obesity.
Plasma interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), epidermal growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF), and C-reactive protein were analyzed in 55 children aged 8–11 years. A muscular fitness score was computed. Bone mineral content (BMC) of the total body-less head (TBLH) and lumbar spine (LS) were assessed using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.
IL-6 (β = −0.136) and VEGF (β = −0.099) were associated with TBLH BMC, while TNF-α (β = −0.345) and IL-1β (β = 0.212) were associated with LS BMC (P < 0.05). The interaction effect of muscular fitness showed a trend in the association of VEGF with TBLH BMC (P = 0.122) and TNF-α with LS BMC (P = 0.057). Stratified analyses by muscular fitness levels showed an inverse association of VEGF with TBLH BMC (β = −0.152) and TNF-α with LS BMC (β = −0.491) in the low-fitness group, while no association was found in the high-fitness group.
IL-6, VEGF, TNF-α, and IL-1β are significantly associated with bone mass. Higher muscular fitness may attenuate the adverse effect of high VEGF and TNF-α on bone mass.
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This study was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Reference DEP2013-47540). This study took place owing to the additional funding from the University of Granada, Plan Propio de Investigación 2016, Excellence actions: Units of Excellence; Unit of Excellence on Exercise and Health (UCEES) and by the Junta de Andalucia, Consejeria de Conocimiento, Investigación y Universidades and the European Regional Development Funds (ref. SOMM17/6107/UGR). In addition, this study was further supported by the SAMID III network, RETICS, funded by the PN I + D + I 2017-2021 (Spain), ISCIII- Sub-Directorate General for Research Assessment and Promotion and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (Ref. RD16/0022). M.A.-R. is supported by a Predoctoral Research Grant from Universitat Jaume I (PREDOC/2015/13). J.M.-G. is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport (FPU14/06837). C.C.-S. is supported by a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (BES-2014-068829); and by the Government of Andalusian, Integrated Territorial Initiative 2014–2020 for the province of Cádiz (PI-0002-2017). A.P.-F. is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport (FPU 16/02760). L.G.-M. is funded by Plan Propio de Investigación 2016 (Programa de Captación de Talento and Programa de Captación de Talento—UGR Fellows). This work is part of a Ph.D. thesis conducted in the Biomedicine Doctoral Studies at the University of Granada, Spain. Portions of this study were presented at Symposium EXERNET. Research in physical exercise and health: Exercise is medicine, October 19–20, 2018, Pamplona, Spain.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Gil-Cosano, J.J., Gracia-Marco, L., Ubago-Guisado, E. et al. Inflammatory markers and bone mass in children with overweight/obesity: the role of muscular fitness. Pediatr Res 87, 42–47 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-019-0572-8