S100B serum levels are closely correlated with body mass index: an important caveat in neuropsychiatric research

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2010 Feb;35(2):321-4. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2009.07.012. Epub 2009 Aug 11.


Elevated blood levels of S100B in neuropsychiatric disorders have so far been mainly attributed to glial pathologies. However, increases or dysfunction of adipose tissue may be alternatively responsible. Our study assessed S100B serum levels in 60 adult subjects without a prior history of neuropsychiatric disorders. S100B concentrations were closely correlated with the body mass index (BMI, range 18-45 kg/m(2)) as well as levels of leptin and adipocyte-type fatty acid-binding protein (A-FABP/FABP4) that are well-known adipose-related factors. Effect sizes as measured by Cohen's d indicated medium (0.8 > d > 0.5) to strong effects (d > 0.9) of BMI on S100B blood levels. In conclusion, physiological S100B levels in humans appear to closely reflect adipose tissue mass, which should therefore be considered as an important confounding factor in clinical studies examining the role of S100B.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Body Size / physiology
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins / blood
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leptin / blood
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Growth Factors / blood*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Neuropsychology / methods*
  • Neuropsychology / standards*
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Research Design
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100 Proteins / blood*
  • S100 Proteins / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • FABP4 protein, human
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Leptin
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100 Proteins
  • S100B protein, human