Metabolic profiling of adiponectin levels in adults Mendelian randomization analysis

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

December 15, 2017


Background: Adiponectin, a circulating adipocyte-derived protein, has insulin-sensitizing, anti-inflammatory,
antiatherogenic, and cardiomyocyte-protective properties in animal models. However, the systemic effects of adiponectin
in humans are unknown. Our aims were to define the metabolic profile associated with higher blood adiponectin
concentration and investigate whether variation in adiponectin concentration affects the systemic metabolic profile.
Methods and Results: We applied multivariable regression in ≤5909 adults and Mendelian randomization (using cis-acting
genetic variants in the vicinity of the adiponectin gene as instrumental variables) for analyzing the causal effect of
adiponectin in the metabolic profile of ≤37 545 adults. Participants were largely European from 6 longitudinal studies
and 1 genome-wide association consortium. In the multivariable regression analyses, higher circulating adiponectin
was associated with higher high-density lipoprotein lipids and lower very-low-density lipoprotein lipids, glucose levels,
branched-chain amino acids, and inflammatory markers. However, these findings were not supported by Mendelian
randomization analyses for most metabolites. Findings were consistent between sexes and after excluding high-risk
groups (defined by age and occurrence of previous cardiovascular event) and 1 study with admixed population.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that blood adiponectin concentration is more likely to be an epiphenomenon in the context
of metabolic disease than a key determinant.

Published in

Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics


Volume: 10:e001837






Open Access

© 2017 The Authors

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited.



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest