Relation of plasma fatty acid binding proteins 4 and 5 with the metabolic syndrome, inflammation and coronary calcium in patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus

Am J Cardiol. 2010 Oct 15;106(8):1118-23. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2010.06.028.


Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) 4 and 5 play coordinated roles in rodent models of inflammation, insulin resistance, and atherosclerosis, but little is known of their role in human disease. The aim of this study was to examine the hypothesis that plasma adipocyte and macrophage FABP4 and FABP5 levels would provide additive value in the association with metabolic and inflammatory risk factors for cardiovascular disease as well as subclinical atherosclerosis. Using the Penn Diabetes Heart Study (PDHS; n = 806), cross-sectional analysis of FABP4 and FABP5 levels with metabolic and inflammatory parameters and with coronary artery calcium, a measure of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis, was performed. FABP4 and FABP5 levels had strong independent associations with the metabolic syndrome (for a 1-SD change in FABP levels, odds ratio [OR] 1.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.43 to 2.23, and OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.41 to 1.95, respectively) but had differential associations with metabolic syndrome components. FABP4 and FABP5 were also independently associated with C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 levels. FABP4 (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.52) but not FABP5 (OR 1.13, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.32) was associated with the presence of coronary artery calcium. An integrated score combining FABP4 and FABP5 quartile data had even stronger associations with the metabolic syndrome, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and coronary artery calcium compared to either FABP alone. In conclusion, this study provides evidence for an additive relation of FABP4 and FABP5 with the metabolic syndrome, inflammatory cardiovascular disease risk factors, and coronary atherosclerosis in type 2 diabetes mellitus. These findings suggest that FABP4 and FABP5 may represent mediators of and biomarkers for metabolic and cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Calcinosis / blood*
  • Calcinosis / complications
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease / metabolism*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Biomarkers
  • FABP4 protein, human
  • FABP5 protein, human
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Calcium