Aim: Most studies have reported that circulating levels of adiponectin are negatively correlated with the body mass index (BMI), and hypoadiponectinemia is related to cardiometabolic disorders; however, not all obese subjects have hypoadiponectinemia. The present study investigated circulating adiponectin levels and fat distribution, i.e. subcutaneous fat area (SFA) and visceral fat area (VFA), in obese subjects.
Methods: Sixty-eight obese Korean subjects underwent fat distribution by computed tomography (CT) scan and laboratory tests including circulating total adiponectin levels (APN) and circulating high molecular weight adiponectin levels (HMW-APN).
Results: Log-APN and log-HMW-APN did not correlate with log-BMI either in obese males or females in this study; however, log-APN significantly and negatively correlated with log-VFA both in obese males (r=-0.691, p=0.009) and females (r=-0.319, p=0.002), and log-HMW-APN also correlated negatively with log-VFA both in obese males (r=-0.650, p=0.016) and females (r=-0.370, p=0.005). Log-VFA was a significant determinant of log-APN and log-HMW-APN in obese subjects. In contrast, neither log-APN nor log-HMW-APN was significantly correlated with log-SFA in obese males and females.
Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that APN and HMW-APN correlated with VFA, but not BMI and SFA, in obese subjects, and suggest that hypoadiponectinemia may represent dysfunction of adipose tissue in obesity.