Reduced high-molecular-weight adiponectin is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular lesions in hypercholesterolaemic patients

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The hormone adiponectin (APN) circulates in plasma as various multimeric complexes. The high-molecular-weight (HMW) isoform has been reported to exert the most favourable metabolic regulatory and vasculoprotective effects. This study determined the circulatory distribution of APN multimers and their relationships with cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related biochemical indicators in patients with hypercholesterolaemia (HC).


A total of 148 male age- and BMI-matched patients with HC (80 with CVD and 68 without CVD) and 84 male healthy controls were enrolled. Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, nephropathy and cigarette use constituted exclusion criteria.


Both HMW and medium-molecular-weight (MMW) forms of APN were significantly increased in HC without CVD (HMW: 4·98 ± 0·87 vs 2·51 ± 0·33 in control, P<0·01; MMW: 2·20 ± 0·36 vs 1·01 ± 0·15 in control, P<0·01) and were comparable to control in patients with hypercholesterolaemia with CVD (HCVD). In comparison with other APN oligomers, HMW is most closely associated with the HCVD-related biochemical factors, total cholesterol (r=0·345, P<0·05), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc, r=0·325, P<0·05) and uric acid (UA, r=−0·472, P<0·01). Additional analysis via binary logistic regression suggests that HMW is an independent predictor of risk of HCVD (OR, 8·434; P=0·018).


These results suggest that reduced HMW isoform concentrations might be considered as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular complications in patients with HC.

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