Cristina Maglio
Photo: Johan Wingborg

Cristina Maglio Group

Research group
Active research
Project period
2017 - ongoing
Project owner
University of Gothenburg

Short description

Cristina Maglio is a resident physician in Rheumatology with research time within Wallenberg Centre.

About Cristina Maglio Group

Cristina Maglio and her group aim to understand the relationship between obesity, inflammation and the development of rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory joint disease affecting about 1% of the Swedish population. 


Obesity is a burden for western countries and its prevalence is dramatically increasing in the last decades. Overweight and obesity associate with a higher risk of developing several diseases that impair quality of life and lead to increased mortality. Obesity is associated with a low-grade systemic inflammatory state and it has been hypothesized that obesity-related inflammation may be implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatic inflammation. Moreover, obesity is a risk factor for various rheumatic diseases including gout, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Adipokines are cell-signalling proteins mainly produced by the adipose tissue and they are a link between metabolism, inflammation and immunity. In subjects with obesity, the release of adipokines is impaired, either increased or decreased. Adiponectin is probably the most well studied adipokine. This adipokine is highly abundant in serum and is mostly produced by the white adipose tissue; nevertheless, adiponectin serum levels are surprisingly low in subjects with obesity. Moreover, low serum adiponectin is also associated with an impaired metabolic profile, including a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Surprisingly, adiponectin is increased in both serum and joint fluids of patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis. In vitro studies have also shown that adiponectin has both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties. Resistin, visfatin and leptin are other adipokines that have been associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Aim of the research project

By combining epidemiologic data from large patients’ cohorts, genetic and in vitro studies our group aims to understand the role of adipokines in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

Previous results

Our group has the possibility to study the effect of obesity surgery (also known as bariatric surgery) on the development of inflammatory joint disease thanks to the Swedish Obese Subjects (SOS) study. Gout is an inflammatory arthritis caused by monosodium urate crystal deposition in the joints and its precursor is hyperuricemia (i.e. high serum uric acid levels). We have recently shown that bariatric surgery decreases the incidence of gout in obese participants of the SOS study followed up for up to 25 years (Maglio C et al, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2017). Furthermore, we have shown that obese subjects undergoing bariatric surgery have lower serum uric acid levels and a lower chance to develop hyperuricemia during follow up.

Subjects with obesity are at risk to develop psoriasis, an inflammatory disease affecting mostly the skin, as well as psoriatic arthritis. We have shown that bariatric surgery associates with a lower incidence of psoriasis in subjects with obesity followed up for up to 26 years (Maglio C et al, Obesity 2017). No significant difference in the risk of developing psoriatic arthritis was detected when comparing subjects who underwent surgery and the control group.

National and international collaborations

Maglio group works in tight collaboration with Prof. Anna Rudin’s group at the Dept. of Rheumatology and Inflammation, as well as with Prof. Lena Carlsson’s group, at the Dept. of Molecular and Clinical Medicine. The group has also an established collaboration with Prof. Solbritt Rantapää Dahlqvist, at the University of Umeå. Internationally, the group collaborates with Prof. Markku Peltonen, at the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland, as well as Prof. Christian Herder, at the University of Duesseldorf, Germany.

A portrait of Cristina Maglio
Photo: Johan Wingborg

Contact Information

Cristina Maglio

Group Members

Yuan Zhang, MD, PhD


Tahzeeb Fatima


Anders Nguyen

Pre-graduate fellow

Georgios Vasileiadis


Cecilia Överdahl

MD, resident physician in rheumatology

Key Publications

For a complete list of publications, please see:

Original articles

Zhang Y, Aldridge J,  Vasileiadis GK, Edebo H, Ekwall A-K H, Lundell A-C, Rudin A, Maglio C. Recombinant Adiponectin Induces the Production of Pro-Inflammatory Chemokines and Cytokines in Circulating Mononuclear Cells and Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes From Non-Inflamed Subjects. Front. Immunol., 01 February 2021

Vasileiadis GK, Lundell A-C, Zhang Y, Andersson K, Gjertsson I, Rudin A, Maglio C. Adipocytokines in Untreated Newly Diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis: Association with Circulating Chemokines and Markers of Inflammation. Biomolecules 2021, 11(2), 325.

Zhang Y, Peltonen M, Andersson-Assarsson JC , Svensson P-A , Herder C, Rudin A, Carlsson LMS, Maglio C. Elevated adiponectin predicts the development of rheumatoid arthritis in subjects with obesity. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology Volume 49, 2020 - Issue 6

Rabe H, Lundell A-C, Sjöberg F, Ljung F, Strömbeck A, Gio-Batta M, Maglio C, Nordström I, Andersson K, Nookaew I, Wold AE, Adlerberth I, Rudin A. Neonatal gut colonization by Bifidobacterium is associated with higher childhood cytokine responses. Gut Microbes 
Volume 12, 2020 - Issue 1

Maglio C, Zhang Y, Peltonen M, Andersson-Assarsson J, Svensson PA, Herder C, Rudin A, Carlsson L. Bariatric surgery and the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis - a Swedish Obese Subjects study. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2020 Feb 1;59(2):303-309. 

Maglio C, Peltonen M, Rudin A, Carlsson LMS. Bariatric Surgery and the Incidence of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis in the Swedish Obese Subjects Study. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Dec;25(12):2068-2073.

Maglio C, Peltonen M, Neovius M, Jacobson P, Jacobsson L, Rudin A, Carlsson LM. Effects of bariatric surgery on gout incidence in the Swedish Obese Subjects study: a non-randomised, prospective, controlled intervention trial. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Apr;76(4):688-693.

Maglio C, Mancina RM, Motta BM, Stef M, Pirazzi C, Palacios L, Askaryar N, Borén J, Wiklund O, Romeo S. Genetic diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolaemia by targeted next-generation sequencing. J Intern Med. 2014 Oct;276(4):396-403. 

Mancina RM, Burza MA, Maglio C, Pirazzi C, Sentinelli F, Incani M, Montalcini T, Pujia A, Congiu T, Loche S, Pilia S, Wiklund O, Borén J, Romeo S, Baroni MG. COBLL1 rs7607980 genetic variant and insulin resistance in overweight and obese children. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews 2013. Jul;29(5):413-6.

Maglio C, Ericson U, Burza MA, Mancina RM, Pirazzi C, Assarsson JA, Sjöholm K, Baroni MG, Svensson PA, Montalcini T, Pujia A, Sjöström L, Wiklund O, Carlsson LM, Borén J, Orho-Melander M, Romeo S. The IRS1 rs2943641 Variant and Risk of Future Cancer Among Morbidly Obese Individuals. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 2013 Apr;98(4):E785-9.

Rembeck K*, Maglio C*, Lagging M, Christensen PB, Färkkilä M, Langeland N, Buhl MR, Pedersen C, Mørch K, Norkrans G, Hellstrand K, Lindh M, Pirazzi C, Burza MA, Romeo S , Westin J, Group FT. PNPLA 3 I148M genetic variant associates with insulin resistance and baseline viral load in HCV genotype 2 but not in genotype 3 infection. BMC Medical Genetics 2012 Sep 14;13(1):82 * equal contribution

Carlsson LM, Peltonen M, Ahlin S, Anveden Å, Bouchard C, Carlsson B, Jacobson P, Lönroth H, Maglio C, Näslund I, Pirazzi C, Romeo S, Sjöholm K, Sjöström E, Wedel H, Svensson PA, Sjöström L. Bariatric surgery and prevention of type 2 diabetes in Swedish obese subjects. N Engl J Med. Aug 23 2012;367(8):695-704.

Romeo S, Maglio C, Burza MA, Pirazzi C, Sjöholm K, Jacobson P, Svensson PA, Peltonen M, Sjöström L, Carlsson LM. Cardiovascular Events After Bariatric Surgery in Obese Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2012 Dec;35(12):2613-7.


Maglio C, Pirazzi C, Pujia A, Valenti L, Romeo S. The PNPLA3 I148M variant and chronic liver disease: When a genetic mutation meets nutrients. Food Research International. 63 (2014) 239–243.