Serum adipokines are associated with cholesterol metabolism in the metabolic syndrome

Clin Chim Acta. 2007 Aug;383(1-2):126-32. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2007.05.006. Epub 2007 May 18.


Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether cholesterol metabolism is associated with serum adipokines and inflammatory markers.

Methods: In fifty-eight subjects with impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance and features of the metabolic syndrome cholesterol metabolism was assayed with serum non-cholesterol sterol ratios to cholesterol, surrogate markers of synthesis (cholesterol precursors) and dietary absorption % of cholesterol (cholestanol and plant sterols) and related them to serum adiponectin, leptin, high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha).

Results: Adiponectin was negatively related to synthesis markers (e.g. desmosterol r=-0.371, P<0.01), and positively to absorption markers (e.g. cholestanol r=0.269, P<0.05). Leptin was associated with synthesis markers (e.g. desmosterol r=0.271, P<0.05) and negatively with absorption markers (e.g. sitosterol r=-0.278, P<0.05). Hs-CRP was negatively associated with absorption markers (e.g. sitosterol r=-0.407, P<0.001). IL-6 and TNF-alpha were not related to cholesterol metabolism. When dividing the subjects into tertiles by the serum desmosterol/cholestanol ratio, the I tertile (high synthesis/low absorption) was associated with low adiponectin concentrations, high BMI and serum leptin concentrations (P<0.05 for all).

Conclusions: Adiponectin, leptin and hs-CRP were associated with variables of cholesterol metabolism. A high ratio of cholesterol synthesis to absorption is characterized by high serum leptin and low adiponectin concentrations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / chemistry*
  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Leptin / blood
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged


  • Adiponectin
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Leptin
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Cholesterol