Causal Relationship between Adiponectin and Metabolic Traits: A Mendelian Randomization Study in a Multiethnic Population
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BACKGROUND: Adiponectin, a secretagogue exclusively produced by adipocytes, has been associated with metabolic features, but its role in the development of the metabolic syndrome remains unclear. OBJECTIVES: We investigated the association between serum adiponectin level and metabolic traits, using both observational and genetic epidemiologic approaches in a multiethnic population assembled in Canada. METHODS: Clinical data and serum adiponectin level were collected in 1,157 participants of the SHARE/SHARE-AP studies. Participants were genotyped for the functional rs266729 and rs1260326 SNPs in ADIPOQ and GCKR genes. RESULTS: Adiponectin level was positively associated with HDL cholesterol and negatively associated with body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, triglycerides, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, systolic and diastolic pressure (all P<0.002). The rs266729 minor G allele was associated with lower adiponectin and higher HOMA-IR (P = 0.004 and 0.003, respectively). The association between rs266729 SNP and HOMA-IR was no longer significant after adjustment for adiponectin concentration (P = 0.10). The rs266729 SNP was associated with HOMA-IR to an extent that exceeded its effect on adiponectin level (0.15 SD 95% C.I. [0.06, 0.24], P<0.001). There was no significant interaction between rs266729 SNP and ethnicity on adiponectin or HOMA-IR. In contrast, the SNP rs1260326 in GCKR was associated with HOMA-IR (P<0.001), but not with adiponectin level (P = 0.67). CONCLUSION: The association of the functional promoter polymorphism rs266729 with lower serum adiponectin and increased insulin resistance in diverse ethnic groups may suggest a causal relationship between adiponectin level and insulin resistance.
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