Elevated serum level of retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) has been associated with obesity-related co-morbidities including insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and hypertension.
The present study examined the relationship between serum level of RBP4 and various risk factors related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men and women.
284 subjects (139 males, 145 females), grouped into healthy (n = 60), obese diabetes (n = 60), non-obese diabetes (n = 60), obese non-diabetes (n = 60) and patients with CVD (n = 44), were assessed for anthropometric and biochemical parameters related to obesity, diabetes and CVD. In addition, serum levels of several adipokines, including fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) and lipocalin 2 (LCN2) and RBP4 were measured using specific immunoassays.
Serum RBP4 level correlated significantly with principal component derived from known risk factors of CVD (β = 0.20±0.06, P = 0.002). Significance of this correlation was limited to women (β = 0.20±0.06, P = 0.002) and it persisted even after adjusting for BMI (β = 0.19±0.06, P = 0.002). Overall (n = 284) serum RBP4 values significantly correlated with FABP4 (R = 0.19, p = 0.001). Serum FABP4 level of CVD subjects was significantly higher than healthy control (P = 0.001) and non-obese diabetes (P = 0.04) groups, but this difference was attributable to differences in BMI. Serum LCN2 level correlated well with RBP4 (R = 0.15, P = 0.008) and FABP4 (R = 0.36, P<0.001), but did not differ significantly between CVD and other groups.
Results of this study indicate a significant correlation between serum RBP4 and various established risk factors for CVD and suggest RBP4 may serve as an independent predictor of CVD in women.