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1.  Effects of TNF-α neutralization on adipocytokines and skeletal muscle adiposity in the metabolic syndrome 
In a prior study, we have shown that tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α neutralization improves inflammatory markers and total adiponectin in patients with the metabolic syndrome, without improving insulin sensitivity. In this study, we sought to extend our understanding of the effects of TNF-α neutralization in this human model of obesity by investigating the responses of high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin, resistin, leptin, and muscle adiposity to etanercept in patients with the metabolic syndrome. Fifty-six men and women with the metabolic syndrome enrolled in a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. Circulating concentrations of total and HMW adiponectin, resistin, and leptin were determined at baseline and after 4 wk of treatment with etanercept. Muscle adiposity was measured by computed tomography (CT). Although etanercept increased total adiponectin concentration, the HMW form, which is thought to mediate insulin sensitivity, was unchanged. Thus the ratio of HMW to total adiponectin decreased following etanercept treatment compared with placebo (−0.03 ± 0.03 vs. 0.06 ± 0.03, P = 0.02). Resistin tended to decrease in the etanercept-treated group compared with placebo (−0.6 ± 0.7 vs. 1.2 ± 0.7 ng/ml, P = 0.06), whereas leptin was not altered. Etanercept decreased muscle attenuation on CT [−0.61 ± 0.64 Hounsfield units (HU) vs. 1.54 ± 0.77 HU in placebo, P = 0.04], suggesting an increase in muscle adiposity. Together, these results demonstrate that neutralization of TNF-α in obese humans results in differential effects on critical adipokines and body composition indexes. These findings may help to explain the lack of effect on insulin sensitivity and extend our knowledge of the biological effects of TNF-α neutralization in obesity.
doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00089.2007
PMCID: PMC3196534  PMID: 17374698
tumor necrosis factor-α; adiponectin; resistin; muscle adiposity; metabolic syndrome
2.  Effects of Etanercept in Patients With the Metabolic Syndrome 
Archives of internal medicine  2006;166(8):902-908.
Background
Adipose-derived cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor α, may contribute to the inflammation that occurs in the metabolic syndrome. We investigated the effects of inhibition of tumor necrosis factor α with etanercept in patients with the metabolic syndrome.
Methods
Fifty-six subjects with the metabolic syndrome were randomized to administration of either etanercept or identical placebo, 50 mg subcutaneously once a week for 4 weeks. The C-reactive protein level was the primary end point. Effects on other inflammatory markers (including fibrinogen, interleukin 6, and adiponectin), insulin sensitivity, lipid levels, and body composition were also determined.
Results
Baseline characteristics were similar between the groups. Two subjects dropped out of each group, and etanercept was well tolerated throughout the study. The C-reactive protein levels decreased significantly in the treated compared with the placebo group (−2.4 ± 0.4 vs 0.5 ± 0.7 mg/L; P<.001). Adiponectin levels rose significantly in the etanercept group compared with the placebo group (0.8 ± 0.4 vs −0.3 ± 0.3 µg/mL; P=.03). Fibrinogen levels decreased (−68 ± 16 vs −2 ± 31 mg/dL [−2.0 ± 0.47 vs −0.06 ± 0.91 µmol/L]; P=.04) and interleukin 6 levels tended to decrease (−1.2 ± 0.8 vs 0.5 ± 0.5 ng/L; P=.07) in the etanercept-treated subjects compared with placebo, respectively. No changes occurred in body composition parameters or insulin sensitivity, but high-density lipoprotein levels tended to decrease in the etanercept group (−1 ± 1 vs 2 ± 1 mg/dL [−0.03 ± 0.03 vs 0.05 ± 0.03 mmol/L]; P=.06) compared with the placebo group.
Conclusions
Etanercept reduces C-reactive protein levels and tends to improve other inflammatory cardiovascular risk indexes in patients with the metabolic syndrome. Etanercept may interrupt the inflammatory cascade that occurs with abdominal obesity. Further, longer-term studies are needed to determine the effects of tumor necrosis factor α inhibition on cardiovascular disease in patients with the metabolic syndrome.
doi:10.1001/archinte.166.8.902
PMCID: PMC3196549  PMID: 16636217

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