High molecular weight, rather than total, adiponectin levels better reflect metabolic abnormalities associated with childhood obesity

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Dec;91(12):5113-6. doi: 10.1210/jc.2006-1051. Epub 2006 Sep 19.


Context: Japanese are prone to obesity-induced metabolic derangement, which is linked to serum adipocytokine profile even in children.

Objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether high molecular-weight adiponectin (H-Adn) more specifically relates to metabolic derangement in obese children than total adiponectin (T-Adn).

Design and setting: A case (n = 59) control (n = 28) study was performed at the pediatric clinic of a university hospital.

Patients: Japanese obese children (38 boys and 21 girls) were consecutively enrolled. The ages ranged from 5 to 15 (10.3 +/- 0.3; mean +/- sem) yr. Nonobese children (15 boys and 13 girls) were assigned as age-matched controls.

Main outcome measures: Serum adiponectin multimeric complexes were assayed by an ELISA kit. The relationship of adiponectin to metabolic abnormalities was evaluated.

Results: T-Adn (5.1 +/- 0.2 vs. 8.8 +/- 0.4 microg/ml), H-Adn (1.3 +/- 0.1 vs. 4.8 +/- 0.4 microg/ml), and medium molecular weight-Adn were significantly lower in obese than in control children. After adjustment for age and sex, both T- and H-Adn were inversely correlated with insulin and homeostasis model of assessment-insulin resistance, whereas H-Adn (but not T-Adn) inversely correlated with visceral fat area, as determined by computed tomography. Seven obese children were estimated to have metabolic syndrome and showed selective decrease in H-Adn and H/T-Adn.

Conclusion: H-Adn reflects metabolic abnormalities due to obesity better than T-Adn in children. H-Adn is associated with the development of metabolic syndrome, even in childhood.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood*
  • Adiponectin / chemistry*
  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dimerization
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Molecular Weight
  • Obesity / blood*


  • Adiponectin