Changes of Adiponectin Oligomer Composition by Moderate Weight Reduction

  1. Thomas Bobbert12,
  2. Helmut Rochlitz12,
  3. Uta Wegewitz12,
  4. Suzan Akpulat12,
  5. Knut Mai12,
  6. Martin O. Weickert12,
  7. Matthias Möhlig12,
  8. Andreas F.H. Pfeiffer12 and
  9. Joachim Spranger12
  1. 1Department of Clinical Nutrition, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany
  2. 2Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Charité-University Medical School Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Joachim Spranger, MD, Department of Clinical Nutrition, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116, 14558 Nuthetal, Germany. E-mail: spranger{at}


Adiponectin affects lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity. However, adiponectin circulates in three different oligomers that may also have distinct biological functions. We aimed to analyze the role of these oligomers in obesity and lipid metabolism after weight reduction. A total of 17 obese volunteers (15 women and 2 men) participated in a weight reduction program. Individuals were characterized before and after 6 months of a balanced diet. Adiponectin was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and oligomers were detected by nondenaturating Western blot. BMI decreased (35.1 ± 1.2 to 32.8 ± 1.1 kg/m2, P < 0.001), which was associated with an improved metabolite profile. Total adiponectin increased from 5.3 ± 0.5 to 6.1 ± 0.6 μg/ml (P = 0.076). High (HMW) and medium molecular weight (MMW) adiponectin oligomers significantly increased during weight reduction (HMW: 0.37 ± 0.07 to 0.4 ± 0.08 μg/ml, P = 0.042; MMW: 2.3 ± 0.2 to 2.9 ± 0.3 μg/ml, P = 0.007), while low molecular weight (LMW) did not significantly change. Body weight inversely correlated with HMW (r = −0.695, P = 0.002) and positively with LMW (r = 0.579, P = 0.015). Interestingly, HDL cholesterol and HMW were strongly correlated (r = 0.665, P = 0.007). Indeed, HMW and free fatty acids before weight reduction predicted ∼60% of HDL changes during intervention. In conclusion, weight reduction results in a relative increase of HMW/MMW adiponectin and a reduction of LMW adiponectin. Total adiponectin and especially HMW adiponectin are related to circulating HDL cholesterol.


    • Accepted May 23, 2005.
    • Received April 21, 2005.
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