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Sfrp5 correlates with insulin resistance and oxidative stress


Correspondence to: Dr Christian Herder, Institute for Clinical Diabetology, German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Auf'm Hennekamp 65, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany. Tel.: +49 211 3382 647; fax: +49 211 3382 603; e-mail:



Secreted frizzled-related protein 5 (Sfrp5) has been described as novel adipokine in mice with insulin-sensitising and anti-inflammatory properties similar to adiponectin. The aim of this study was to compare serum concentrations and determinants of Sfrp5, its pro-inflammatory antagonist wingless-type MMTV integration site family member (Wnt)5a and adiponectin in humans and their regulation by coffee.

Material and methods

Serum concentrations of Sfrp5, Wnt5a and adiponectin were measured in 47 individuals who participated in a coffee intervention study. Associations with demographic, metabolic and immunological variables and regulation of serum levels by different amounts of daily coffee intake were analysed.


At baseline, fasting serum Sfrp5 levels ranged between 96 and 4056 ng/mL. Sfrp5 was directly correlated with a surrogate of insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance/HOMA-IR; r = 0·32, P < 0·05) and with the oxidative stress markers 8-isoprostane (r = 0·44, P < 0·01) and nitrotyrosine (r = 0·52, P < 0·001). Adiponectin showed inverse correlations with several indices of insulin resistance (e.g. HOMA-IR, Stumvoll index; all P < 0·05) and a direct correlation with the anti-atherogenic apolipoprotein A-I (r = 0·56, P < 0·001). Coffee did not affect serum concentrations of Sfrp5. Serum Wnt5a concentrations were below the detection limit (0·02 ng/mL) in 81% of the study participants.


In contrast to obese mouse models, serum Sfrp5 was directly related to HOMA-IR and oxidative stress in humans, but not with apolipoproteins, and thus, associations differed from those found for circulating adiponectin. These differences between Sfrp5 and adiponectin might be explained by differences in the investigated species.