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Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2018 Aug 28;17(1):120. doi: 10.1186/s12933-018-0765-1.

Metabolomic profiling implicates adiponectin as mediator of a favorable lipoprotein profile associated with NT-proBNP.

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Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Str, 17475, Greifswald, Germany.
Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Str, 17475, Greifswald, Germany.
German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK e.V.), Partner Site Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.
Department of Internal Medicine B, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.
Institute of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany.
Institute of Experimental Genetics, Genome Analysis Center, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany.
Lehrstuhl für Experimentelle Genetik, Technische Universität München, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany.
DZD (German Center for Diabetes Research), München-Neuherberg, Germany.
Institute for Community Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, 17475, Germany.
DZD (German Center for Diabetes Research), Site Greifswald, Greifswald, 17475, Germany.



The N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is an important biomarker for the diagnosis of heart failure. Apart from this and only recently recognized, NT-proBNP levels associate with higher HDL- and lower LDL-cholesterol levels comprising a favorable blood lipid profile. To further examine this observation, the lipoprotein profile in relation to NT-proBNP was examined in-depth by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-NMR). We complemented this investigation with a state-of-the-art untargeted metabolomics approach.


Lipoprotein particles were determined by 1H-NMR spectroscopy in 872 subjects without self-reported diabetes from the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP)-TREND with available NT-proBNP measurements. Comprehensive metabolomics data for plasma and urine samples were obtained. Linear regression models were performed to assess the associations between serum concentrations of NT-proBNP and the metabolites/lipoprotein particles measured in plasma or urine.


An increase in serum NT-proBNP was associated with a benefical lipoprotein profile, including a decrease in VLDL, IDL and LDL-particles along with an increase in large HDL particles. These findings were replicated in a second independent cohort. Serum concentrations of NT-proBNP showed significant inverse associations with seven plasma metabolites while associations with 39 urinary metabolites, mostly comprising amino acids and related intermediates, were identified. Mediation analyses revealed adiponection as mediating factor for the associations observed with lipoproteins particles.


Most of the metabolic changes associated with NT-proBNP implicate significant influence on the blood lipid profile besides vasodilatory and the diuretic action of BNP signaling. Our data suggest that the more favorable lipoprotein profile as associated with elevated NT-proBNP concentrations in mainly cardiac healthy individuals might relate to adiponectin signaling indicating even indirect cardio-protective effects for NT-proBNP.


Adiponectin; Lipoproteins; Metabolomics; Natriuretic peptides; Population-based study

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