The amount of C1q-adiponectin complex is higher in the serum and the complex localizes to perivascular areas of fat tissues and the intimal-medial layer of blood vessels of coronary artery disease patients

Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2015 May 9;14:50. doi: 10.1186/s12933-015-0209-0.


Background: The complement component C1q triggers activation of the classical immune pathway and can bind to adiponectin (APN). Recently, some studies have been reported that serum C1q-APN/total APN ratio correlates with atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease (CAD). We assessed the relationships between C1q related variables and the severity of CAD, and investigated the localization of the C1q-APN complex.

Methods: The sample included 153 subjects comprising healthy controls and patients with subclinical or overt CAD. We measured the serum concentrations of C1q, total APN, and high-molecular weight (HMW)-APN, and the amount of C1q-APN complex. We identified the sites of C1q-APN complex deposition in various adipose tissues and blood vessels.

Results: Serum concentrations of C1q and HMW-APN and the C1q/HMW-APN ratio were independently associated with the severity of coronary stenosis. The amount of C1q-APN complex was significantly higher in patients with CAD compared with controls. C1q and APN co-localized in perivascular areas of subcutaneous, visceral, and pericardial fat tissues, and the internal mammary artery of patients with severe CAD.

Conclusions: Serum C1q concentration and the C1q/HMW-APN ratio were independent markers of coronary artery stenosis. The amount of C1q-APN complex was significantly greater in serum from CAD patients. C1q and APN co-localized to perivascular areas in adipose tissue and blood vessels. The association between the increased amount of the C1q-APN complex and CAD should be investigated further.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood*
  • Adipose Tissue / diagnostic imaging
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Complement C1q / metabolism*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multidetector Computed Tomography / methods
  • Tunica Intima / diagnostic imaging
  • Tunica Intima / metabolism*


  • ADIPOQ protein, human
  • Adiponectin
  • Biomarkers
  • Complement C1q