Mitochondrial open reading frame of the 12S rRNA-c (MOTS-c) is a mitochondrial-derived peptide that attenuates weight gain and hyperinsulinemia when administered to high fat-fed mice. MOTS-c is therefore a potential regulator of metabolic homeostasis under conditions of high-energy supply. However, the effect of insulin resistance and obesity on plasma MOTS-c concentration in humans is unknown. To gain insight into MOTS-c regulation, we measured plasma MOTS-c concentration and analyzed its relationship with insulin sensitivity surrogates, in lean and obese humans (n=10 per group). Obese individuals had impaired insulin sensitivity as indicated by low Matsuda and high Homeostatic Model Assessment (HOMA) indexes. Although plasma MOTS-c concentration was similar in lean and obese individuals (0.48±0.16 and 0.52±0.15 ng/mL; p=0.60), it was correlated with HOMA (r=0.53; p<0.05) and Matsuda index (r=−0.46; p<0.05). Notably, when the groups were analyzed separately, the associations remained only in lean individuals. We conclude that plasma MOTS-c concentration is unaltered in human obesity. However, MOTS-c associates positively with insulin resistance mostly in lean individuals, indicating that plasma MOTS-c concentration depends on the metabolic status in this population. Such dependence seems altered when obesity settles. The implications of plasma MOTS-c for human metabolic homeostasis deserve future examination.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
LRC and RF-V contributed equally.
Contributors JEG, LRC and JLS conceived the study. All authors participated in data analysis and interpretation. JEG, LRC and RF-V wrote the manuscript, which was approved by all the co-authors.
Funding Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (Fondecyt; #1130217, #1170117 and #1150416) funded the study.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval The Ethical Board at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile approved the protocol (Reference number: 12-201, 2012).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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.