Relationship between total and high molecular weight adiponectin levels and plasma nonesterified fatty acid tolerance during enhanced intravascular triacylglycerol lipolysis in men

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Mar;94(3):998-1004. doi: 10.1210/jc.2008-1021. Epub 2008 Dec 9.


Context: Increased plasma nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) appearance during enhanced intravascular triacylglycerol (TG) lipolysis is a marker of metabolic adipose tissue dysfunction and may lead to the development of insulin resistance. The relationship between total and high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin levels, NEFA appearance, and total TG lipolytic capacity has not been previously studied in humans.

Objectives: Our objective was to determine whether total and HMW adiponectin plasma levels are associated with plasma NEFA level and appearance, and with total TG lipolytic rate during enhanced intravascular TG lipolysis in men.

Design: This was a cross-sectional metabolic study.

Setting: The study was performed at an academic clinical research center.

Participants: There were 15 healthy men (mean +/- sd body mass index 25.5 +/- 4.7 kg/m(2)) aged 21-50 yr (mean +/- sd 31.1 +/- 10.2) without first-degree relatives with type 2 diabetes included in the study.

Interventions: Pancreatic clamps and iv infusion of stable isotopic tracers ([1,1,2,3,3-(2)H(5)]glycerol and [U-(13)C]palmitate) were performed, whereas intravascular TG lipolysis was clamped by iv infusion of heparin plus Intralipid at low (fasting) and high insulin levels. Total and HMW adiponectin levels were measured using an ELISA.

Main outcome measures: Levels of total and HMW adiponectin, palmitate appearance (plasma palmitate appearance rate), and glycerol appearance (plasma glycerol appearance rate) were calculated.

Results: During heparin plus Intralipid infusion, total and HMW adiponectin was inversely correlated with plasma palmitate appearance rate (r = -0.65; P = 0.01), but this association was lost when expressed per nonlean weight. Adiponectin levels were positively associated with plasma glycerol appearance rate per nonlean weight (r = 0.71 and r = 0.66, respectively; P < or = 0.01).

Conclusions: Increased adipose tissue mass likely explains the association between low adiponectin and reduced NEFA tolerance. Adiponectin level is a marker of total TG lipolytic rate per adipose tissue mass in men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Calorimetry
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lipolysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Weight
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Triglycerides / metabolism*


  • ADIPOQ protein, human
  • Adiponectin
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides