Effect of bariatric surgery on plasma GDF15 in humans

Maximilian Kleinert, Kirstine N Bojsen-Møller, Nils B Jørgensen, Maria S Svane, Christoffer Martinussen, Bente Kiens, Jorgen F P Wojtaszewski, Sten Madsbad, Erik A Richter, Christoffer Clemmensen

27 Citations (Scopus)


Bariatric surgery results in marked body weight loss and improves type 2 diabetes in most patients with obesity. The growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) has recently emerged as a novel satiety factor. To begin to understand whether GDF15 is involved in mediating the effects of bariatric surgery on body weight and glycemia in humans, we measured plasma GDF15 in patients with obesity ( n = 25) and in patients with obesity and diabetes ( n = 22) before and after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery. GDF15 was increased 1 wk after RYGB compared with before surgery (689 ± 45 vs. 487 ± 28 pg/ml, P < 0.001) and GDF15 remained elevated at 3 mo (554 ± 37 pg/ml, P < 0.05), at 1 yr (566 ± 37 pg/ml, P < 0.05), and at 2.5-4 yr (630 ± 50 pg/ml, P < 0.001) after RYGB surgery. Both age and insulin sensitivity correlated with GDF15 before the surgery ( r = 0.46, P < 0.0001 and r = 0.34, P < 0.001, respectively). These correlations disappeared at 2.5-4 yr following the surgery. Conversely, weight loss magnitude correlated with GDF15, measured 2.5-4 yr postsurgery ( r = 0.21, P < 0.0055). In summary, circulating GDF15 increases and correlates with body weight loss following RYGB surgery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)E615-E621
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • bariatric surgery
  • diabetes
  • GDF15
  • obesity
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
  • Obesity
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Diabetes


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