A role for leukocyte integrins and extracellular matrix remodeling of adipose tissue in the risk of weight regain after weight loss

Nadia J.T. Roumans*, Roel G. Vink, Parastoo Fazelzadeh, Marleen A. van Baak, Edwin C.M. Mariman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Weight loss (WL) is often followed by weight regain after an energy-restricted dietary intervention (DI). When people are following a diet, the volume of an adipocyte decreases by loss of triglycerides, which creates stress between the cell contents and the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM). Previously, we observed that genetic variations in ECM genes are associated with an increased risk of weight regain. Objective: We investigated the relation between the expression of ECM genes during WL and a period of weight stabilization (WS) and the risk of weight regain. Design: In this randomized controlled trial, 61 healthy overweight or obese participants followed either a 5-wk very-low-calorie diet (VLCD; 500 kcal/d) or a 12-wk low-calorie diet (1250 kcal/d) (WL period) with a subsequent 4-wk WS period and a 9-mo follow-up. The WL and WS periods combined were considered the DI. Abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsy samples were collected for microarray analysis. Gene expression changes for a broad set of ECM-related genes were correlated with the weight-regain percentage (WR%). Results: A total of 26 of the 277 genes were significantly correlated with WR% during WL, WS, or the DI periods. Most correlations were observed in the VLCD group during the WS period. Four genes code for leukocyte-specific receptors. These and other genes belong to a group of 26 genes, among which the expression changes were highly correlated (r ≥ 0.7, P ≤ 0.001). This group could be divided into 3 subclusters linking to 2 biological processes-leukocyte integrin gene activity and ECM remodeling-and a link to insulin sensitivity was also apparent. Conclusions: Our present findings indicate the importance of adipose tissue leukocytes for the risk of weight regain. ECM modification also seems to be involved, and we observed a link to insulin sensitivity. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01559415.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1054-1062
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Adipose tissue
  • Extracellular matrix and inflammation
  • Healthy overweight/obese participants
  • Human dietary intervention
  • Microarray
  • Weight regain after weight loss


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