Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Assessment of serum CX3CL1/fractalkine level in Han Chinese girls with anorexia nervosa and its correlation with nutritional status: a preliminary cross-sectional study
  1. Shengkang Zhang1,
  2. Hanfeng Tang2,
  3. Cai Gong2,
  4. Jiang Liu2,
  5. Jindong Chen3
  1. 1Department of Nutrition, Xiamen Hospital of Zhongshan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, Xiamen, Fujian Province, 361006, China
  2. 2Department of Nutrition, the second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan Province, 410011, China
  3. 3Mental Health Institute, the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan Province, 410011, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jindong Chen, Mental Health Institute, the Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 139 Middle Renmin Road, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China; chenjd0269{at}


The chemokine (C-X3-C motif) ligand 1 (CX3CL1), also named fractalkine (FKN), has been implicated in psychiatric disorders and functions as a novel adipocytokine. However, no attention has been paid to the role of FKN in anorexia nervosa (AN). The current study was performed to explore FKN levels in AN to determine its role in the involvement of AN. A total of 96 girls aged 11–18 years with AN (n=34), healthy controls (HC; n=32) and simple obesity (OB, n=30) were enrolled in the cross-sectional study. Blood samples were collected during the fasting state. Serum FKN concentrations were determined using ELISA. The skinfold thickness (TSF) of the biceps and triceps as well as mid-arm muscle circumference (MAMC) were used to determine the nutritional status. Our results showed that serum FKN levels were significantly lower in the AN group than in the control and OB groups. After adjusting for body mass index (BMI), FKN concentrations in the AN group were statistically higher than in the HC and OB groups. Significant correlations between serum FKN and body weight, BMI, Cole index and serum insulin were observed. In addition, serum FKN levels were positively related to TSF and MAMC in all subjects. Serum FKN concentrations are attenuated in girls with AN compared with healthy adolescents and are positively related to nutritional status. The lower FKN levels may be regulated by nutrition status and response to starvation. After adjusting for BMI, higher FKN levels may reflect that persistent inflammation is present in patients with AN.

  • Adipokines
  • Chemokines
  • Eating Disorders
  • Psychopathology

Statistics from


  • Contributors SZ and JC researched the literature and conceived the study. All authors were involved in protocol development, gaining ethical approval, patient recruitment and data analysis. They also approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethical Commitee of the second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.