Aims/hypothesis: Adiponectin is an adipokine with insulin-sensitising and anti-atherogenic properties. We studied the role played by total adiponectin and by the bioactive high-molecular-weight (HMW) oligomeric complexes of adiponectin in vascular function in offspring whose parents both had type 2 diabetes, a population at high risk of diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Methods: Total and %HMW adiponectin, the cytokines C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), as well as lipid profiles were assayed in 19 offspring, each with two type 2 diabetic parents. Subjects underwent OGTTs and IVGTTs. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation (EDV) was assessed by brachial artery ultrasonography.
Results: There was a significant relationship between %HMW and total adiponectin levels (r=0.72, p=0.001). Despite an expected strong positive correlation between HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin levels (r=0.52, p=0.04), as well as HDL-cholesterol and EDV (r=0.56, p<0.02), there was no significant relationship between either total adiponectin or % HMW adiponectin and EDV. Adiponectin was inversely associated with PAI-1 (r=0.50, p=0.05), but did not correlate with the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein or interleukin-6.
Conclusions/interpretation: In offspring of diabetic parents, a population at high risk of diabetes and atherosclerotic disease, there is no relationship between total or %HMW adiponectin and endothelium-dependent vasodilation. However, low adiponectin was associated with impaired fibrinolysis as manifested by increased levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1.