Systemic blockade of TNF-α in Rheumatoid arthritis with insulin resistance seems to produce more improvement in insulin sensitivity in normal weight patients with Rheumatoid arthritis than in obese patients with Rheumatoid arthritis, suggesting that systemic-inflammation and obesity are independent risk factors for insulin resistance in Rheumatoid arthritis patients.
To evaluate the insulin resistance in: normal weight patients with Rheumatoid arthritis, overweight patients with Rheumatoid arthritis, obese Rheumatoid arthritis patients, and matched control subjects with normal weight and obesity; and its association with major cytokines involved in the pathogenesis of the disease.
Assessments included: body mass index, insulin resistance by Homeostasis Model Assessment, ELISA method, and enzymatic colorimetric assay.
Outstanding results from these studies include: (1) In Rheumatoid arthritis patients, insulin resistance was well correlated with body mass index, but not with levels of serum cytokines. In fact, levels of cytokines were similar in all Rheumatoid arthritis patients, regardless of being obese, overweight or normal weight (2) Insulin resistance was significantly higher in Rheumatoid arthritis with normal weight than in normal weight (3) No significant difference was observed between insulin resistances of Rheumatoid arthritis with obesity and obesity (4) As expected, levels of circulating cytokines were significantly higher in Rheumatoid arthritis patients than in obesity.
Obesity appears to be a dominant condition above inflammation to produce IR in RA patients. The dissociation of the inflammation and obesity components to produce IR suggests the need of an independent therapeutic strategy in obese patients with RA.
Insulin resistance; Obesity; Rheumatoid arthritis; TNF-α