Preatherosclerosis and Adiponectin Subfractions in Obese Adolescents




We evaluated total adiponectin, high-molecular weight (HMW), medium-molecular weight (MMW), low-molecular weight (LMW) adiponectin subfractions, clinical parameters, routine lab parameters, lipids, metabolic, inflammatory biomarkers, and intima-media thickness (IMT) of common carotid arteries in 70 obese juveniles and adolescents with preatherosclerosis and 55 normal weight controls of similar age and gender distribution. Compared with the controls, the obese probands had a significantly increased IMT (P < 0.001) and elevated ultra-sensitive C-reactive protein (P < 0.001) indicating early vascular burden. Total and HMW adiponectin were significantly decreased in the obese cohort. The ratio between HMW and total adiponectin was significantly decreased in obese probands whereas the LMW/total adiponectin ratio was increased. Overall, total-, HMW, and MMW adiponectin were significantly negatively correlated with carotid IMT. The HMW/total adiponectin ratio correlated significantly negatively, and the LMW/total adiponectin ratio significantly positively with the IMT. Furthermore, HMW adiponectin was significantly positively correlated with high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and serum apolipoprotein A1, and negatively with BMI, triglycerides, homeostatic model assessment (HOMA)-index, leptin, liver transaminases, and uric acid. This remained stable after controlling for gender. Multiple regression analysis of body measures and all other lab parameters showed the strongest correlation between HMW adiponectin and carotid IMT (β = −0.35, P < 0.001). Taken together, our study provides the first evidence that preatherosclerosis in obese juveniles and adolescents is associated with altered subfractions of adiponectin, whereas after multiple testing the HMW subfraction showed a better correlation to IMT compared with total adiponectin.