Serum adipokines as biomarkers of beta-cell function in patients with type 1 diabetes: positive association with leptin and resistin and negative association with adiponectin


Correspondence to: Thi Minh Nguyet Pham, Institute for Clinical Diabetology at German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Auf'm Hennekamp 65, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.




We investigated the adipokines adiponectin, leptin and resistin as serum biomarkers of beta-cell function in patients with type 1 diabetes.


One hundred and eighteen patients with type 1 diabetes (20.3 ± 7.5 years) diagnosed <5 years underwent standardized mixed meal test (MMTT) for 2 h. Systemic concentrations of C-peptide, adiponectin, leptin and resistin obtained during MMTT were measured and compared between patient groups by multiple regression analysis.


Patients were divided by their adipokine levels in subgroups above or below the median level (‘high versus low’). High adiponectin levels (>10.6 µg/mL) were associated with lower C-peptide compared to the low adiponectin subgroup (p < 0.03). Increased leptin or resistin concentrations associated positively with beta-cell function even after adjustment for metabolic confounders (p < 0.04). The described associations between adipokines and C-peptide concentrations persisted in Spearman correlation tests (p < 0.05). Serum adipokines fell during MMTT (p < 0.05).


Serum adipokine levels differentially correlate with beta-cell function in type 1 diabetes independent of BMI or metabolic control. Serum adipokines should be investigated as biomarkers of beta-cell function in prospective studies and intervention trials in type 1 diabetes. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.