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Plasma GDF15 levels are similar between subjects after bariatric surgery and matched controls and are unaffected by meals

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Growth differentiating factor 15 (GDF15) is expressed in the intestine and is one of the most recently identified satiety peptides. The mechanisms controlling its secretion are unclear. The present study investigated whether plasma GDF15 concentrations are meal-related and if potential responses depend on macronutrient type or are affected by previous bariatric surgery. The study included 1) volunteers ingesting rapidly vs. slowly digested carbohydrates (sucrose vs. isomaltose; n = 10), 2) volunteers who had undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) or sleeve gastrectomy (SG) surgery and unoperated matched controls ingesting a liquid mixed meal (n = 9-10 in each group), and 3) individuals with previous RYGB compared with unoperated controls ingesting isocaloric glucose, fat, or protein (n = 6 in each group). Plasma was collected after an overnight fast and up to 6 h after ingestion (≥12 time points). In cohort 1, fasting GDF15 concentrations were ∼480 pg/mL. Concentrations after sucrose or isomaltose intake did not differ from baseline (P = 0.26 to P > 0.99) and total area under the curves (tAUCs were similar between groups (P = 0.77). In cohort 2, fasting GDF15 concentrations were as follows (pg/mL): RYGB = 540 ± 41.4, SG = 477 ± 36.4, and controls = 590 ± 41.8, with no between-group differences (P = 0.73). Concentrations did not increase at any postprandial time point (over all time factor: P = 0.10) and tAUCs were similar between groups (P = 0.73). In cohort 3, fasting plasma GDF15 was similar among the groups (P > 0.99) and neither glucose, fat, nor protein intake consistently increased the concentrations. In conclusion, we find that plasma GDF15 was not stimulated by meal intake and that fasting concentrations did not differ between RYGB-, SG-, and body mass index (BMI)-matched controls when investigated during the weight stable phase after RYGB and SG.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Our combined data show that GDF15 does not increase in response to a liquid meal. Moreover, we show for the first time that ingestion of sucrose, isomaltose, glucose, fat, or protein also does not increase plasma GDF15 concentrations, questioning the role of GDF15 in regulation of food source preference. Finally, we find that neither fasting nor postprandial plasma GDF15 concentrations are increased in individuals with previous bariatric surgery compared with unoperated body mass index (BMI)-matched controls.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)E443-E452
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

    Research areas

  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, bariatric surgery, growth differentiation factor 15, macronutrients, meal test, sleeve gastrectomy, Macronutrients, Meal test, Growth differentiation factor 15, Bariatric surgery, Sleeve gastrectomy

ID: 67245392