• anorexia nervosa;
  • adipocytokines;
  • weight restoration



Starvation-induced depletion of fat stores in anorexia nervosa (AN) is known to be accompanied by alterations in some circulating adipocytokines. We analyzed a panel of circulating adipocytokines in women with AN compared with normal-weight controls and their relation with the disease duration and weight restoration.


We analyzed circulating adipocytokine levels in 28 patients with AN and in 33 normal-weight controls who were eating healthily. We determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay the circulating levels of total and high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin, lipocalin-2 (LCN2), leptin, tumor necrosis factor receptor-II (TNFRII), interleukin-6 (IL6), adipocyte fatty acid binding protein-4 (FABP4), ghrelin, and resistin.


The two circulating forms of adiponectin are higher in AN women compared with controls. Both total and HMW adiponectin related negatively to the duration of the disease (r = −0.372, p = 0.033; r = −0.450, p = 0.038, respectively). Furthermore, the lipid binding-proteins LCN2 and FABP4 are lower in AN compared to the control group. Finally, leptin levels are lower in AN against controls and correlated positively with disease duration (r = 0.537, p = 0.007). Resistin, ghrelin, TNFRII, and IL6 have similar values in both groups, although TNFRII and ghrelin related negatively to body mass index variation at the end of treatment (r = −0.456, p = 0.039; r = −0.536, p = 0.015, respectively).


These results suggest there is a need to investigate if changes in adipocytokine levels could serve as weight restoration biomarkers. Further studies are warranted to elucidate the specific role of these molecules in the timing of weight restoration. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013; 46:855–861)