Little is known about the acute regulation of adiponectin in humans. In animal studies, adiponectin increases the clearance of free fatty acids (FFA) from the circulation by increasing skeletal uptake and oxidation of lipid, thereby regulating the FFA concentration. However, it is unknown if FFA regulate adiponectin. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of an acute reduction in free fatty acids on adiponectin concentration in healthy subjects. Ten normal male subjects were admitted for 2 inpatient visits and randomized to receive either acipimox (500 mg orally at 2 am and again at 6 am) or placebo on the first visit and vice versa on the second visit. Adiponectin, FFA, insulin and glucose were measured at 7:45 am. FFA concentrations were significantly lower after acipimox than placebo administration (0.08 +/- 0.02 mEq/L v 0.35 +/- 0.53 mEq/L, P <.05). Adiponectin concentrations were also significantly lower after acipimox than placebo administration (7.4 +/- 1.2 microg/mL v 10.3 +/- 1.7 microg/mL, P <.05). The change in FFA between acipimox and placebo correlated significantly with the change in adiponectin (r = 0.66, P <.05), eg, the larger the reduction in FFA in response to acipimox, the larger the reduction in adiponectin. These results suggest that acute lowering of FFA is associated with decreased adiponectin concentrations.