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Eur J Endocrinol. 2010 Feb;162(2):281-8. doi: 10.1530/EJE-09-0555. Epub 2009 Nov 17.

Resistin is associated with biomarkers of inflammation while total and high-molecular weight adiponectin are associated with biomarkers of inflammation, insulin resistance, and endothelial function.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, ST816, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Erratum in

  • Eur J Endocrinol. 2010 Aug;163(2):359.



Adiponectin and resistin have been linked to inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and/or insulin secretion or resistance. It remains to be elucidated which of these adipokines is associated primarily with biomarkers of all or only some of these categories, i.e. biomarkers of inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and/or insulin secretion or insulinemia.


We studied 1065 healthy women, Nurses' Health Study participants, who provided blood samples in 1989-1990. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted to assess the relationships between total and high-molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin and resistin with inflammatory markers and biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction, insulin secretion, and insulinemia.


Resistin was positively associated with the inflammatory markers soluble tumour necrosis factor-alpha receptor II and interleukin-6 but not with any biomarkers of endothelial function, glycemia, insulinemia, or markers of insulin secretion after multivariate adjustment for age and body mass index (BMI). In both crude and multivariate analyses, total adiponectin was inversely associated with insulin, proinsulin, C-peptide, HbA1c, sE-selectin, and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. HMW adiponectin was inversely associated with circulating insulin, proinsulin, C-peptide, HbA1c, sE-selectin, and CRP concentrations, even after adjustment for age, BMI, lifestyle factors, exercise, the use of medications as well as the other biomarkers of interest. Total and HMW adiponectin demonstrated negative associations with soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, which became nonsignificant after adjustment for confounders, whereas positive associations between soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and total adiponectin became significant only after multivariate adjustment.


Total and HMW adiponectin are inversely associated with markers of insulin secretion/insulinemia, endothelial function, and inflammation. Resistin is positively associated only with markers of inflammation.

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