Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Chem. 2007 Jan;53(1):34-41. Epub 2006 Oct 13.

Lipocalin-2 is an inflammatory marker closely associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperglycemia in humans.

Author information

Genome Research Center and Department of Biochemistry, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.



Lipocalin-2, a 25-kDa secreted glycoprotein, is a useful biomarker for early detection of various renal injuries. Because lipocalin-2 is abundantly expressed in adipose tissue and liver, we investigated its relevance to obesity-related pathologies.


We used real-time PCR and in-house immunoassays to quantify the mRNA and serum concentrations of lipocalin-2 in C57BL/KsJ db/db obese mice and their age- and sex-matched lean littermates. We analyzed the association between serum lipocalin-2 concentrations and various metabolic and inflammatory variables in 229 persons (121 men and 108 women) recruited from a previous cross-sectional study, and we evaluated the effect of the insulin-sensitizing drug rosiglitazone on serum lipocalin-2 concentrations in 32 diabetic patients (21 men and 11 women).


Compared with the lean littermates, lipocalin-2 mRNA expression in adipose tissue and liver and its circulating concentrations were significantly increased in db/db diabetic/obese mice (P <0.001). These changes were normalized after rosiglitazone treatment. In humans, circulating lipocalin-2 concentrations were positively correlated (P <0.005) with adiposity, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperglycemia, and the insulin resistance index, but negatively correlated (P = 0.002) with HDL cholesterol. There was also a strong positive association between lipocalin-2 concentrations and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), independent of age, sex, and adiposity (P = 0.007). Furthermore, rosiglitazone-mediated decreases in lipocalin-2 concentrations correlated significantly with increases in insulin sensitivity (r = 0.527; P = 0.002) and decreases in hs-CRP concentrations (r = 0.509; P = 0.003).


Lipocalin-2 is an inflammatory marker closely related to obesity and its metabolic complications. Measurement of serum lipocalin-2 might be useful for evaluating the outcomes of various clinical interventions for obesity-related metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center