Relationship of serum adiponectin and leptin concentrations with body fat distribution in humans

Obes Res. 2003 Mar;11(3):368-72. doi: 10.1038/oby.2003.48.


Objective: We investigated whether serum concentrations of adiponectin are determined by body fat distribution and compared the findings with leptin.

Research methods and procedures: Serum concentrations of adiponectin and leptin were measured by radioimmunoassay (n = 394) and analyzed for correlation with sex, age, and body fat distribution, i.e., waist-to-hip ratio, waist and hip circumference, and subcutaneous adipose tissue area of the lower leg as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging.

Results: After adjusting for sex and percentage of body fat, adiponectin was negatively (r = -0.17, p < 0.001) and leptin was positively (r = 0.22, p < 0.001) correlated with waist-to-hip ratio. Leptin, but not adiponectin, correlated with both waist (r = 0.49, p < 0.001) and hip circumference (r = 0.46, p < 0.001). Furthermore, leptin, but not adiponectin, correlated with the proportion of subcutaneous fat of the lower leg cross-sectional area (r = 0.37, p < 0.001).

Discussion: These data suggest that both adipocytokines are associated with central body fat distribution, and serum adiponectin concentrations are determined predominantly by the visceral fat compartment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin
  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adult
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Constitution
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Leptin / blood*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Proteins / analysis*
  • Viscera


  • Adiponectin
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Leptin
  • Proteins