• Open Access

Alterations in Adipokines in Feline Hepatic Lipidosis


  • The work was done at the Veterinary Teaching Hospitals at Michigan State University and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Corresponding author: M. Mazaki-Tovi, DVM, PhD, Dip. ECVIM-CA (Internal Medicine), Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI; e-mail: mazaki-tovi@dcpah.msu.edu.



Feline hepatic lipidosis (HL) is associated with alterations in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. The adipokines, adiponectin, and leptin have lipid-lowering and insulin-sensitizing effects.


Serum concentrations of adiponectin and leptin are altered in feline HL.


Client-owned cats: 55 healthy and 45 with liver disease.


Cats with liver disease were categorized as having HL (n = 20), HL and concurrent disease (n = 19), or other liver disease (n = 6), based on clinical signs, laboratory findings, abdominal ultrasound examination as well as liver cytopathology, histopathology, or both. Serum samples were collected and body condition score determined.


Mean serum concentrations of adiponectin were higher in overweight cats with HL (4.5 μg/mL), HL and concurrent disease (4.4 μg/mL), or other liver disease (6.1 μg/mL), as compared with healthy cats (1.5 μg/mL; < .001, < .001, and P = .04, respectively). Mean serum concentration of leptin was higher in cats with HL (9.8 ng/mL) or HL and concurrent disease (10.7 ng/mL) than healthy cats (4.9 ng/mL, < .001 and < .001, respectively). Cats with other liver disease had leptin concentration (4.9 ng/mL) similar to healthy cats. Concentrations of adiponectin were correlated with alanine aminotransferase activity (= 0.40, = .0069), and concentrations of leptin were correlated with alkaline phosphatase activity (= 0.42, = .0051) in cats with liver disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

Adipokine concentrations are altered in feline HL. Increased concentrations of adiponectin are related to liver disease, whereas increased concentrations of leptin are specifically related to HL.