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Diabetes. 2008 Feb;57(2):372-7. Epub 2007 Nov 8.

Serum vaspin concentrations in human obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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University of Leipzig, Department of Medicine, Ph.-Rosenthal-Str. 27, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.



Vaspin was identified as an adipokine with insulin-sensitizing effects, which is predominantly secreted from visceral adipose tissue in a rat model of type 2 diabetes. We have recently shown that vaspin mRNA expression in adipose tissue is related to parameters of obesity and glucose metabolism. However, the regulation of vaspin serum concentrations in human obesity and type 2 diabetes is unknown.


For the measurement of vaspin serum concentrations, we developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Using this ELISA, we assessed circulating vaspin in a cross-sectional study of 187 subjects with a wide range of obesity, body fat distribution, insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance and in 60 individuals with normal glucose tolerance (NGT), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), or type 2 diabetes before and after a 4-week physical training program.


Vaspin serum concentrations were significantly higher in female compared with male subjects. There was no difference in circulating vaspin between individuals with NGT and type 2 diabetes. In the normal glucose-tolerant group, circulating vaspin significantly correlated with BMI and insulin sensitivity. Moreover, physical training for 4 weeks resulted in significantly increased circulating vaspin levels.


We found a sexual dimorphism in circulating vaspin. Elevated vaspin serum concentrations are associated with obesity and impaired insulin sensitivity, whereas type 2 diabetes seems to abrogate the correlation between increased circulating vaspin, higher body weight, and decreased insulin sensitivity. Low circulating vaspin correlates with a high fitness level, whereas physical training in untrained individuals causes increased vaspin serum concentrations.

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