Background: Visfatin [pre-B cell colony- enhancing factor (PBEF)] is a cytokine highly expressed in visceral fat that exhibits insulin-mimetic properties. However, its role in insulin-resistant states, such as in metabolic syndrome (MetS), remains largely unknown.
Objective: To investigate the possible differences of plasma visfatin levels between obese and overweight subjects with and without MetS.
Design and patients: Plasma visfatin concentrations were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 28 overweight and obese [body mass index (BMI)>28 kg/m2] subjects with Mets and 28 age- and sex-matched overweight and obese (BMI>28 kg/m2) individuals without MetS (control group).
Results: Patients with MetS exhibited significantly elevated waist circumference (WCR ) values, higher blood pressure readings, higher fasting glucose and triglyceride concentrations as well as lower levels of HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) compared with controls. Total and LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations did not differ significantly between the two groups. Plasma visfatin concentrations were significantly higher in subjects with MetS compared with controls [27 (16- 65) ng/ml vs 19 (10-47) ng/ml, p<0.05]. The same results were observed even after adjustment for age, sex and BMI. Plasma visfatin levels were positively correlated with age (r=0.32, p<0.05), WCR (r=0.31, p<0.05), triglyceride (r=0.59, p<0.01) and glucose (r=0.33, p<0.05) levels and were negatively correlated with HDL-C levels (r=-0.38, p<0.05). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed similar results.
Conclusion: Plasma visfatin levels are increased in overweight and obese subjects with MetS compared with those individuals who do not fulfil the criteria for the diagnosis of MetS.