• 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1;
  • mRNA;
  • menopause;
  • BMI;
  • alcohol;
  • age;
  • smoking

11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of central obesity and metabolic syndrome. It has been shown that tissue-specific mRNA is present in blood, raising the possibility that quantifiable levels of 11β-HSD1 mRNA may also be present in circulation. The aim of this study was to determine whether a relationship exists between circulating 11β-HSD1 mRNA levels and various cardiovascular risk factors. Whole blood was collected using PAXgene Blood RNA tubes from 73 subjects. Total RNA was extracted, reverse-transcribed to cDNA, and 11β-HSD1 mRNA was measured by quantitative real time PCR. The median BMI was 24 (range = 17–36) and the concentration of 11β-HSD1 mRNA tended to decrease with increasing BMI (r=−0.206; P= 0.08). Multiple linear regression analysis identified BMI as an independent predictor of mRNA levels (β=−0.412, P= 0.002). Other factors included in the analysis are age (β= 0.952, P < 0.001), smoking (β=−0.228, P= 0.027), alcohol intake (β= 0.479, P < 0.001), and duration of menopause (β=−1.602, P < 0.001). The results suggest a net decrease in systemic expression of 11β-HSD1 with increased smoking, BMI, and duration of menopause. Increased systemic expression is seen with increasing age and alcohol intake.