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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Aug;17(8):1069-75.

Correlates of adiponectin and the leptin/adiponectin ratio in obese and non-obese children.

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University of South Florida, College of Medicine, Tampa, USA.


Adiponectin is an adipocyte secreted protein that has been reported to increase fatty acid oxidation and improve insulin sensitivity. Our aim was to study the relationship between adiponectin and leptin, body fat, insulin and lipoproteins in obese compared to non-obese children matched for age and gender. Adiponectin serum concentrations were significantly lower in the obese compared to the non-obese children (9.1+/-3.7 vs 17.1+/-12.3 microg/ml, p <0.05), in contrast to serum leptin concentrations which were greater in the obese compared to the non-obese subjects (31.8+/-11.1 vs 8.2+/-5.7 ng/ml, p <0.001). When considered as a single group to assess adiponectin concentrations over a spectrum of body size, adiponectin values correlated inversely with body weight (r = -0.33, p <0.05) and BMI (r = -0.35, p <0.05). Adiponectin values correlated directly with HDL-C (r = 0.47, p <0.005), but not with total cholesterol, IGF-I, or leptin binding activity. Since leptin and adiponectin change inversely in relation to BMI, the leptin/adiponectin (L/A) ratio was determined as a potential index relating adiposity to the development of complications of obesity. The L/A ratio was eight-fold greater in the obese compared to the non-obese children, and correlated more strongly with BMI (r = 0.779, p <0.0001) and with HDL-C (r = -0.53, p <0.001), than did adiponectin alone. The L/A ratio also correlated significantly with triceps skinfold thickness (TSF) (r = 0.77, p <0.001) and percent body fat (r = 0.79, p <0.0001) in non-obese children. These data suggest that adiponectin concentrations are already differentially regulated in childhood obesity. The index of increased leptin concentration corrected by reduced adiponectin values (L/A ratio) merits investigation as a marker for morbidities associated with childhood obesity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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