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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Oct;99(10):E2004-9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2014-1568. Epub 2014 Jul 22.

Circulating betatrophin concentrations are decreased in human obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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Metabolic Research Laboratory (J.G.-A., V.C., A.R., B.R., G.F.), Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition (E.P., C.S., J.S., G.F.) and Department of Biochemistry (M.J.G.), Clínica Universidad de Navarra, 31008 Pamplona, Spain; and CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (J.G.-A., V.C., A.R., B.R., C.S., M.J.G., J.S., G.F.), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 31008 Pamplona, Spain.



Betatrophin is a secreted protein recently involved in β-cell replication with a potential role in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D).


The aim of the present study was to compare the circulating concentrations of betatrophin in human obesity and T2D.


Serum concentrations of betatrophin were measured by ELISA in 153 subjects: 75 obese normoglycemic subjects (OB-NG), 30 obese subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (OB-IGT), and 15 obese subjects with T2D (OB-T2D) matched by sex, age, and body adiposity, in comparison with 33 lean normoglycemic individuals (LN-NG).


Circulating levels of betatrophin were significantly decreased in obese individuals and further diminished in IGT and T2D participants (LN-NG, 45.1 ± 24.4 ng/mL; OB-NG, 26.9 ± 15.4 ng/mL; OB-IGT, 18.3 ± 10.7 ng/mL; OB-T2D, 13.5 ± 8.8 ng/mL; P < .001). A marked sexual dimorphism was found, with betatrophin levels being significantly higher in women than in men (males, 21.1 ± 16.0 ng/mL; females, 34.1 ± 20.1 ng/mL; P < .001). Interestingly, betatrophin levels were positively correlated with the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (r = 0.46; P < .001) and with high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations (r = 0.51; P < .001).


We conclude that serum betatrophin is decreased in human obesity, being further reduced in obesity-associated insulin resistance. Betatrophin levels are closely related to obesity-associated cardiometabolic risk factors, emerging as a potential biomarker of insulin resistance and T2D.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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