Similar Adiponectin Levels in Obese Normotensive and Obese Hypertensive Men and No Vasorelaxant Effect of Adiponectin on Human Arteries

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Obesity is a strong risk factor for hypertension, but the mechanism linking obesity to hypertension is not fully elucidated. In obesity, circulating concentrations of adiponectin are decreased and hypoadiponectinaemia has in some but not all studies been associated with increased risk of hypertension. Due to this inconsistency, we decided to study adiponectin from two aspects in a cross-sectional in vivo study and in an experimental in vitro study. In the cross-sectional study, 103 men with body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30.0 kg/m2 were studied; 63 had 24-hr ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) ≥ 130/80 mmHg (ObeseHT) and 40 had 24-hr ABP < 130/80 mmHg (ObeseNT). As controls, we studied 27 men with BMI between 20.0 and 24.9 kg/m2 and 24-hr ABP < 130/80 mmHg (LeanNT). Serum concentrations of adiponectin and body composition using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanning were determined. In vitro, the direct vasomotor response of adiponectin was tested on subcutaneous resistance arteries from human abdominal adipose tissue. The two obese groups had lower adiponectin concentrations compared with LeanNT (p < 0.01) [median (interquartile range)]: ObeseHT 6.5 (5.1–8.3) mg/L; ObeseNT 6.6 (5.2–7.8) mg/L; and LeanNT 9.4 (6.7–12.4) mg/L, with no significant difference in adiponectin concentrations (or body composition) between ObeseHT and ObeseNT (p = 0.67). In vitro, adiponectin did not have any direct vasodilatory effect and adiponectin did not affect angiotensin II-stimulated vasoconstriction. In conclusion, obese hypertensive men have similar serum concentrations of adiponectin as obese normotensive men. In combination with the in vitro data, these findings question a pathogenic role of adiponectin in human hypertension.

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