Objective: Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), a serine protease inhibitor, is secreted from the adipose tissue and circulates at high concentrations. A recent study found that PEDF played a causal role in obesity-induced insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunctions in mice. Here we investigated whether circulating PEDF levels predicted the development of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a 10-yr prospective study.
Research design and methods: Baseline plasma PEDF levels were measured with an ELISA in 520 nondiabetic subjects, recruited from the Hong Kong Cardiovascular Risk Factor Prevalence Study cohort. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyze whether PEDF was an independent factor related to the MetS at baseline. The role of PEDF in predicting the development of the MetS over 10 yr was analyzed using Cox regression analysis.
Results: Plasma levels of PEDF were significantly higher in men than women. At baseline, sex-adjusted PEDF levels were significantly higher in subjects with MetS (P < 0.001), and the association remained significant (odds ratio: 1.17, P = 0.015), even after adjustment for covariates. Among the components of the MetS, PEDF was independently associated with hypertriglyceridemia (P = 0.026) and hypertension (P = 0.005). Of the 396 subjects without the MetS at baseline, a total of 80 had developed the MetS over 10 yr. High baseline sex-adjusted PEDF was an independent predictor of the development of the MetS in men (hazard ratio: 1.25, P = 0.034) but not in women.
Conclusion: Plasma PEDF was significantly associated with the presence of the MetS and predicted the development of the MetS in Chinese men.