Lower serum levels of Meteorin-like/Subfatin in patients with coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus are negatively associated with insulin resistance and inflammatory cytokines

PLoS One. 2018 Sep 13;13(9):e0204180. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204180. eCollection 2018.


Meteorin-like (Metrnl) is a newly discovered adipokine with favorable effect on insulin sensitivity. Previous studies have reported lower levels of Metrnl in obese patients. However, there is conflicting data regarding its circulating levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and there is no data in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the Metrnl serum level in patients with T2DM and CAD, and also to evaluate the serum levels of Metrnl with serum levels of adiponectin, IL-6 and TNF-α in patients. This study was conducted on 66 patients with CAD, 63 T2DM patients and 41 controls. The serum levels of Metrnl, adiponectin, IL-6 and TNF-α were measured using ELISA techniques. The serum levels of Metrnl were found to be lower in CAD (75.18 ± 28.48 pg/mL) and T2DM patients (73.89 ± 33.60 pg/mL) compared to the control group (95.33 ± 32.56 pg/mL) (p < 0.005 and p<0.003, respectively). Additionally, adiponectin decreased in CAD and T2DM patients as compared to the control group, while IL-6 and TNF-α were higher in CAD and T2DM patients. Metrnl showed independent association with the risk of CAD and T2DM presence. Furthermore, Metrnl illustrated a negative correlation with IL-6 and TNF-α in both CAD patients and also with BMI, insulin resistance, IL-6 and TNF-α in T2DM patients. Metrnl showed an association with CAD and T2DM presence and with components of their pathogenesis such as inflammation and insulin resistance. These results suggested a possible interaction between Metrnl and the pathogenesis of CAD and T2DM, however more studies are needed to prove this concept.

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / blood
  • Adipokines / genetics*
  • Adipokines / immunology
  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adiponectin / genetics*
  • Adiponectin / immunology
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / genetics*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / immunology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics*
  • Insulin Resistance / immunology
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-6 / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology


  • ADIPOQ protein, human
  • Adipokines
  • Adiponectin
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Metrnl protein, human
  • Triglycerides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.