Adiponectin has insulin-sensitizing and anti-atherosclerotic effects, partly mediated through its action on monocytes. We aimed to determine adiponectin levels and expression of its receptors (AdipoR1 and AdipoR2) in peripheral monocytes from overweight and obese patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).
Fifty-five overweight/obese patients, suspected for CAD, underwent coronary angiography: 31 were classified as CAD patients (stenosis ≥ 50% in at least one main vessel) and 24 as nonCAD. Quantitative RT-PCR and flow cytometry were used for determining mRNA and protein surface expression of adiponectin receptors in peripheral monocytes. A high sensitivity multiplex assay (xMAP technology) was used for the determination of plasma adiponectin and interleukin-10 (IL-10) secreted levels.
Plasma adiponectin levels were decreased in CAD compared to nonCAD patients (10.9 ± 3.1 vs. 13.8 ± 5.8 μg/ml respectively, p = 0.033). In multivariable analysis, Matsuda index was the sole independent determinant of adiponectin levels. AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 protein levels were decreased in monocytes from CAD compared to nonCAD patients (59.5 ± 24.9 vs. 80 ± 46 and 70.7 ± 39 vs. 95.6 ± 47.8 Mean Fluorescence Intensity Arbitrary Units respectively, p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed concerning the mRNA levels of the adiponectin receptors between CAD and nonCAD patients. AdipoR2 protein levels were positively correlated with plasma adiponectin and Matsuda index (r = 0.36 and 0.31 respectively, p < 0.05 for both). Furthermore, basal as well as adiponectin-induced IL-10 release was reduced in monocyte-derived macrophages from CAD compared to nonCAD subjects.
Overweight patients with CAD compared to those without CAD, had decreased plasma adiponectin levels, as well as decreased surface expression of adiponectin receptors in peripheral monocytes. This fact together with the reduced adiponectin-induced IL-10 secretion from CAD macrophages could explain to a certain extent, an impaired atheroprotective action of adiponectin.