Scientific publications

Adiponectin-leptin Ratio is a Functional Biomarker of Adipose Tissue Inflammation

Feb 22, 2019 | Magazine: Nutrients

Frühbeck G (1,2,3,4), Catalán V (5,6,7), Rodríguez A (8,9,10), Ramírez B (11,12,13), Becerril S (14,15,16), Salvador J (17,18), Colina I (19,20), Gómez-Ambrosi J (21,22,23)


Obesity favors the development of cardiometabolic alterations such as type 2 diabetes (T2D) and the metabolic syndrome (MS). Obesity and the MS are distinguished by an increase in circulating leptin concentrations, in parallel to a drop in the levels of adiponectin.

Consequently, the Adpn/Lep ratio has been suggested as a maker of dysfunctional adipose tissue. We aimed to investigate in humans (n = 292) the reliability of the Adpn/Lep ratio as a biomarker of adipose tissue dysfunction.

We considered that an Adpn/Lep ratio of ≥1.0 can be considered normal, a ratio of ≥0.5 <1.0 suggests moderate-medium increased risk, and a ratio of <0.5 indicates a severe increase in cardiometabolic risk.

Using these cut-offs, 5%, 54% and 48% of the lean, normoglycemic and without-MS subjects, respectively, fall within the group with an Adpn/Lep ratio below 0.5; while 89%, 86% and 90% of the obese, with T2D and with MS patients fall within the same group (p< 0.001). A significant negative correlation (r = -0.21, p = 0.005) between the Adpn/Lep ratio and serum amyloid A (SAA) concentrations, a marker of adipose tissue dysfunction, was found.

We concluded that the Adpn/Lep ratio is a good indicator of a dysfunctional adipose tissue that may be a useful estimator of obesity- and MS-associated cardiometabolic risk, allowing the identification of a higher number of subjects at risk.

CITATION  Nutrients. 2019 Feb 22;11(2). pii: E454. doi: 10.3390/nu11020454.