Profile of Gut Hormones, Pancreatic Hormones and Pro-inflammatory Cytokines in New Zealand Maori

Aya Cervantes, Ruma G. Singh, Sayali A. Pendharkar, Sakina H. Bharmal, Maxim S. Petrov


Background: Maori, indigenous people of New Zealand, have at least two times higher prevalence of obesity and diabetes in comparison with the general population in the country. Gut and pancreatic hormone profile differences as well as pro-inflammatory milieu may contribute to this disparity. The aim was to investigate the differences in gut hormones, pancreatic hormones and pro-inflammatory cytokines between Maori and non-Maori individuals.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. Fasting blood samples were collected to measure cholecystokinin, ghrelin, gastric inhibitory peptide, glicentin, glucagon-like peptide-1 and -2, oxyntomodulin, secretin, amylin, C-peptide, glucagon, insulin, pancreatic polypeptide, somatostatin, interleukin-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha. Binary logistic regression analysis was conducted in one unadjusted and four adjusted statistical models adjusting for patient-, metabolic- and pancreatitis-related factors.

Results: A total of 8 Maori and 85 non-Maori individuals were included. Circulating levels of ghrelin, pancreatic polypeptide and interleukin-6 levels were significantly higher in Maori (P = 0.005, P = 0.003 and P = 0.011, respectively) in both unadjusted and all the four adjusted analyses. Other signaling molecules did not show consistently significant associations with ethnicity.

Conclusion: Profile of gut hormones, pancreatic hormones and pro-inflammatory cytokines appears to differ between Maori and non-Maori individuals, independent of obesity, diabetes and other covariates. This may go some way to explain the increased propensity to obesity and diabetes in the Maori population.

Gastroenterol Res. 2018;11(4):280-289


Ghrelin; Pancreatic polypeptide; Interleukin-6; Obesity; Ethnicity

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