Relationship of adipokines with insulin sensitivity in African Americans

Am J Med Sci. 2011 Sep;342(3):192-7. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0b013e3182112bcd.


Introduction: Cytokines produced by adipose tissue, including adiponectin, have been associated with metabolic abnormalities. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of insulin sensitivity measured by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic insulin clamp with plasma adiponectin and other adipokines in young adult African Americans.

Methods: Participants were healthy African Americans. Anthropometric measures, blood pressure, an oral glucose tolerance test and an euglycemic hyperinsulinemic insulin clamp were performed. Insulin sensitivity measurements were adjusted for percentage of fat mass. Plasma concentrations of adiponectin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were assayed on plasma from fasting blood samples. Pearson correlation coefficients and multiple regression models were fitted to assess the association between glucose sensitivity and cytokines.

Results: In univariate analysis, there were statistically significant correlations of plasma adiponectin level (r = 0.19, P = 0.004), PAI-1 (r = -0.19, P = 0.020) and IL-6 (r = -0.24, P < 0.001) with measures of insulin sensitivity after adjustment for both fat mass and insulin clamp concentration. In multivariate analysis, adiponectin [geometric mean ratios (GMR) 1.15, P = 0.007], PAI-1 (GMR 0.998, P = 0.021) and body mass index (GMR 0.95, P < 0.001) were each independently associated with insulin sensitivity. For IL-6, there was no significant association with insulin sensitivity independent of obesity.

Conclusion: These data show a significant and independent positive correlation of adiponectin with insulin sensitivity. The relationship of IL-6 with insulin sensitivity seems to be dependent on adiposity.

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / physiology*
  • Adiponectin / physiology
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology
  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Interleukin-6 / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Adipokines
  • Adiponectin
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-6