Serum alanine aminotransferase is associated with serum adiponectin, C-reactive protein and apolipoprotein B in young healthy men

Horm Metab Res. 2006 Feb;38(2):119-24. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-925134.


Several studies have reported an association between markers of liver injury, including elevated concentrations of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and prospective risk of type 2 diabetes. We therefore examined the relationship between ALT and AST on the one hand, and serum adiponectin and highly sensitive CRP on the other, both of which have been reported to be associated with prospective risk of type 2 diabetes; we also tested for variable components of metabolic syndrome in 198 male college students aged 18-20 years. ALT showed a positive relationship with percentage body fat (r = 0.19, p = 0.02), serum leptin (r = 0.21, p = 0.01), LDL cholesterol (r = 0.29, p = 0.0003), triglyceride (r = 0.28, p = 0.0004) and apolipoprotein B (r = 0.35, p < 0.0001) even after adjustment for body mass index (BMI). Although there was a significant relationship with serum insulin, adiponectin (inversely), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, HDL cholesterol (inversely) and LDL particle diameter in simple regression analysis, significance disappeared after adjustment for BMI. In contrast, CRP (r = 0.16, p = 0.04) was associated with ALT after adjustment for BMI, although simple regression analysis revealed no association between the two. Relationships were smaller for AST, and significance disappeared after adjustment for BMI. Multiple regression analysis excluding lipid variables revealed significant and independent associations of ALT with adiponectin and percentage body fat. In a model including lipid variables, apolipoprotein B emerged as an independent predictor of ALT in addition to adiponectin and percentage body fat. These variables explained 29 % of ALT variability. In conclusion, serum ALT levels were associated with leptin and CRP as well as many components of the insulin resistance syndrome in young healthy men. Adiponectin, apolipoprotein B and percentage body fat emerged as significant and independent predictors of ALT. Since adiponectin and chronic subclinical inflammation have been reported to predict the development of type 2 diabetes and since abnormalities in apolipoprotein B metabolism occur in the early course of insulin resistance, these findings may be compatible with the association between liver markers and risk of diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood*
  • Apolipoproteins B / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Fat Distribution
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Risk Factors


  • Adiponectin
  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Alanine Transaminase