Plasma visfatin concentration as a surrogate marker for visceral fat accumulation in obese children

Author(s): Araki S, Dobashi K, Kubo K, Kawagoe R, Yamamoto Y, et al.


Objective: This study was designed to elucidate whether the plasma visfatin level reflects visceral or subcutaneous fat accumulation and metabolic derangement in obese children.

Methods and procedures: Fifty-six obese Japanese children, including 37 boys and 19 girls were enrolled in the study. The age of the subjects ranged from 5 to 15 (10.2 +/- 0.3; mean +/- s.e.m.) years. The age-matched control group for measuring visfatin consisted of 20 non-obese children. Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) areas were measured by computed tomography. The plasma concentrations for visfatin and leptin were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits.

Results: The plasma visfatin level was higher in the obese (14.7 +/- 0.9 ng/ml) than in the control children (8.6 +/- 0.6 ng/ml). In a univariate analysis, the visfatin correlated significantly with age, height, body weight, waist circumference, VAT and SAT area, triglyceride (TG), insulin, and the homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-R). After being adjusted for age and sex, only the VAT area retained significant partial correlation with visfatin, and in contrast the body weight, BMI-s.d., and SAT area with leptin. The plasma visfatin concentration was not correlated with leptin. The plasma visfatin levels in the control, non-metabolic syndrome (MS) (n = 49), and MS groups (n = 7) were significantly different from each other.

Discussion: These results suggest that plasma visfatin level is a specific marker for visceral fat accumulation in obese children. As a good surrogate marker, plasma visfatin level can predict the VAT area in obese children.

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