Hypertrophic Mesenteric Adipose Tissue May Play a Role in Atherogenesis in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

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Adipokines released by the adipose tissue are known to play a role in atherogenesis. The hypertrophic mesenteric fat in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) also produces adipokines that are considered to play a role in intestinal inflammation. Whether they also contribute to accelerated atherosclerosis in IBD is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the role of 2 adipokines, resistin and adiponectin, in IBD.


We previously published data on 3 markers of cardiovascular risk, carotid intima-media thickness, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2, in 44 patients with IBD and 44 controls matched for established cardiovascular risk factors. In this study, we measured resistin and adiponectin levels, and assessed their correlations with carotid intima-media thickness, pulse wave velocity, and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2.


Resistin levels were significantly higher in patients with IBD (13.7 versus 10 ng/mL; P = 0.022), but there was no difference in adiponectin levels. Resistin levels were significantly higher in patients with active disease compared with those in remission (18.9 versus 11.3 ng/mL; P = 0.014). Adiponectin levels were significantly lower in Crohn's disease compared with ulcerative colitis (6736.3 ± 3105 versus 10,476.1 ± 5575.7 ng/mL; P = 0.026). Adiponectin correlated inversely with pulse wave velocity (rho = −0.434; P < 0.0005) and carotid intima-media thickness (rho = −0.255; P = 0.021).


This is the first study to suggest that adipokines produced by the hypertrophic mesenteric fat in IBD may play a role not only in intestinal inflammation but also in atherogenesis. Resistin has mainly pro-inflammatory properties, whereas adiponectin likely exerts an angioprotective effect.

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