Systemic chemerin is related to inflammation rather than obesity in type 2 diabetes


Christa Buechler, Department of Internal Medicine I, Regensburg University Hospital, D-93042 Regensburg, Germany. Tel.: +49 941 944 7147; Fax: +49 941 944 7019; E-mail:


Background  The adipokine chemerin modulates the function of innate immune cells and may link obesity and inflammation, and therefore, a possible relation of chemerin to inflammatory proteins in obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) was analysed. As visceral fat contributes to systemic inflammation, chemerin was measured in portal venous (PVS), hepatic venous (HVS) and systemic venous (SVS) blood of patients with liver cirrhosis.

Patients and methods  Systemic chemerin was determined by ELISA in the serum of normal-weight, overweight and T2D males, in the serum of T2D patients of both sexes, and in PVS, HVS and SVS of patients with liver cirrhosis.

Results  Circulating chemerin was similar in T2D and obese individuals but was significantly elevated in both cohorts compared to normal-weight individuals. Chemerin positively correlated with leptin, resistin and C-reactive protein (CRP). In T2D, chemerin was similar in male and female patients and increased in patients with elevated CRP. Chemerin was similar in PVS and SVS, indicating that visceral fat is not a major site of chemerin synthesis. Higher levels of chemerin in HVS demonstrate that chemerin is also released by the liver.

Conclusions  Visceral fat is not a major site of chemerin release, and elevated systemic levels of chemerin in obesity and T2D seem to be associated with inflammation rather than body mass index.