Background: The prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and inflammation is high in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Adiponectin is an adipocytokine that may have significant anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic effects. Low adiponectin levels have previously been found in patients with high risk for CVD.
Methods: In a cohort of 204 (62% males) ESRD patients aged 52 +/- 1 years the following parameters were studied: presence of CVD, body composition, plasma adiponectin (N= 107), cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, serum leptin, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), urinary albumin excretion (UAE), and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the apM1 gene at positions -11391, -11377, 45, and 276. Thirty-six age- (52 +/- 2 years) and gender-matched (64% males) healthy subjects served as control subjects.
Results: Markedly (P < 0.0001) elevated median plasma adiponectin levels were observed in ESRD patients (22.2 microg/mL), especially type 1 diabetic patients (36.8 microg/mL), compared to control subjects (12.2 microg/mL). Log plasma adiponectin correlated to visceral fat mass (R=-0.29; P < 0.01) and Log hs-CRP (R=-0.26; P < 0.01). In a stepwise (forward followed by backward) multiple regression model only type-1 diabetes (P < 0.001) and visceral fat mass (P < 0.05) were independently associated with plasma adiponectin levels. The adiponectin gene -11377 C/C genotype was associated with a lower prevalence of CVD (25 vs. 42%) compared to the G/C genotype.
Conclusion: The present cross-sectional study demonstrates that, whereas genetic variations seem to have a minor impact on circulating adiponectin levels, lower visceral fat mass and type 1 diabetes mellitus are associated with elevated plasma adiponectin levels in ESRD patients. Furthermore, low levels of adiponectin are associated with inflammation in ESRD.