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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

New adipokines vaspin and omentin. Circulating levels and gene expression in adipose tissue from morbidly obese women

Teresa Auguet123, Yunuen Quintero23, David Riesco1, Beatriz Morancho2, Ximena Terra23, Anna Crescenti2, Montserrat Broch23, Carmen Aguilar23, Montserrat Olona4, José Antonio Porras12, Mercè Hernandez5, Fátima Sabench5, Daniel del Castillo25 and Cristóbal Richart123*

Author Affiliations

1 Servei Medicina Interna. Hospital Universitari Joan XXIII Tarragona, Tarragona, Spain

2 Grup de Recerca en Medicina Aplicada Hospital Joan XXIII. Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia. Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), IISPV, Tarragona, Spain

3 Grup d'estudi de Malalties Metabòliques associades a insulin resistència (GEMMAIR) 2010PFR-URV-B2-14 and 2009 SGR 95 (AGAUR

4 Servei Epidemiologia i estadística, Hospital Universitari Joan XXIII Tarrogona, Tarragona, Spain

5 Servei de Cirurgia. Hospital Sant Joan de Reus, Tarragona, Spain. Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia. Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), IISPV, Tarragona, Spain

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BMC Medical Genetics 2011, 12:60  doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-60

Published: 28 April 2011



Vaspin and omentin are recently described molecules that belong to the adipokine family and seem to be related to metabolic risk factors. The objectives of this study were twofold: to evaluate vaspin and omentin circulating levels and mRNA expression in subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissues in non-diabetic morbidly obese women; and to assess the relationship of vaspin and omentin with anthropometric and metabolic parameters, and other adipo/cytokines.


We analysed vaspin and omentin circulating levels in 71 women of European descent (40 morbidly obese [BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2] and 31 lean [BMI ≤ 25]). We assessed vaspin and omentin gene expression in paired samples of visceral and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue from 46 women: 40 morbidly obese and 6 lean. We determined serum vaspin and plasma omentin levels with an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and adipose tissue mRNA expression by real time RT-PCR.


Serum vaspin levels in the morbidly obese were not significantly different from those in controls. They correlated inversely with levels of lipocalin 2 and interleukin 6. Vaspin mRNA expression was significantly higher in the morbidly obese, in both subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue.

Plasma omentin levels were significantly lower in the morbidly obese and they correlated inversely with glucidic metabolism parameters. Omentin circulating levels, then, correlated inversely with the metabolic syndrome (MS). Omentin expression in visceral adipose tissue was significantly lower in morbidly obese women than in controls.


The present study indicates that vaspin may have a compensatory role in the underlying inflammation of obesity. Decreased omentin circulating levels have a close association with MS in morbidly obese women.

circulating levels; morbid obesity; mRNA tissue expression; omentin; vaspin