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Hypertension. 2003 Sep;42(3):231-4. Epub 2003 Jul 14.

Association of hypoadiponectinemia with impaired vasoreactivity.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 2-2, Yamada-Oka, Suita, 565-0671 Osaka, Japan.


Endothelial dysfunction is a crucial feature in the evolution of atherosclerosis. Adiponectin is an adipocyte-specific plasma protein with antiatherogenic and antidiabetic properties. In the present study, we investigated the relation between adiponectin and endothelium-dependent vasodilation. We analyzed endothelial function in 202 hypertensive patients, including those who were not taking any medication. Forearm blood flow was measured by strain-gauge plethysmography. Plasma adiponectin level was highly correlated with the vasodilator response to reactive hyperemia in the total (r=0.257, P<0.001) and no-medication (r=0.296, P=0.026) groups but not with nitroglycerin-induced hyperemia, indicating that adiponectin affected endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Multiple regression analysis of data from all hypertensive patients revealed that plasma adiponectin level was independently correlated with the vasodilator response to reactive hyperemia. Vascular reactivity was also analyzed in aortic rings from adiponectin-knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice. Adiponectin-KO mice showed obesity, hyperglycemia, and hypertension compared with WT mice after 4 weeks on an atherogenic diet. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation in response to acetylcholine was significantly reduced in adiponectin-KO mice compared with WT mice, although no significant difference was observed in endothelium-independent vasodilation in response to sodium nitroprusside. Our observations suggest that hypoadiponectinemia is associated with impaired endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and that the measurement of plasma adiponectin level might be helpful as a marker of endothelial dysfunction.

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