Adiponectin levels in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients: Possible influence on neuroinflammation?

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Background: Adiponectin (APN) is a key player in energy homeostasis strictly associated with cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Since APN also belongs to anti-inflammatory-acting adipokines and may influence both neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative processes, we decided to study the APN levels in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases. Methods: We assessed APN levels by ELISA immunoassay in both the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of a cohort of familial and sporadic ALS patients, characterized by normal body mass index and absence of dysautonomic symptoms. The screening of serum APN levels was also performed in patients affected by other neurological disorders, including fronto-temporal dementia (FTD) patients. Means were compared using the non-parametric Wilcoxon test, and Pearson's or Spearman's rho was used to assess correlations between variables. Results: In the whole ALS group, serum APN levels were not different when compared to the age- and sex-matched control group (CTR), but a gender-specific analysis enlightened a significant opposite APN trend between ALS males, characterized by lower values (ALS 9.8±5.2 vs. CTR 15±9.7μg/ml), and ALS females, showing higher amounts (ALS 26.5±11.6 vs. CTR 14.6±5.2μg/ml). This sex-linked difference was significantly enhanced in familial ALS cases (p≤0.01). The APN levels in ALS cerebrospinal fluids were unrelated to serum values and not linked to sex and/or familiarity of the disease. Finally, the screening of serum APN levels in patients affected by other neurological disorders revealed the highest serum values in FTD patients. Conclusions: Opposite serum APN levels are gender-related in ALS and altered in several neurological disorders, with the highest values in FTD, which shares with ALS several overlapping and neuropathological features. Further investigations are needed to clarify the possible involvement of APN in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Graphical Abstract: Possible involvement of APN in neuroinflammatory neurodegenerative diseases

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 20 2017


  • Adipokine
  • Adiponectin
  • Fronto-temporal dementia
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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