The adipocytokine retinol binding protein-4 (RBP4) has recently been shown to link obesity and insulin resistance, although their relationship remains controversial in human studies. The influence of weight reduction with changes of fat distribution on serum RBP4 concentration in nondiabetics is also unknown. We assessed the effect of weight reduction (especially abdominal visceral fat loss) on serum RBP4 levels after a structuralized weight-reduction program. We conducted a prospective intervention study consisting of a 16-week weight reduction program, including lifestyle modification and adjuvant appetite suppressants. A total of 52 nondiabetic subjects aged 37.4 ± 11 years with a body mass index of 27.4 ± 4 kg/m 2 were included. Serum RBP4 concentrations with other metabolic parameters and abdominal adipose tissue areas as determined by computed tomography scan were measured both before and 16 weeks after the weight reduction program. Subjects had a 10.9% loss of body weight accompanied by a 25.5% decrease in serum RBP4 levels, with improved insulin sensitivity after the program. The changes in RBP4 levels were significantly correlated with the amounts of abdominal visceral fat loss (r = 0.38, p<0.01) but were not associated with the amount of total body fat loss or abdominal subcutaneous fat loss. Weight reduction, especially the loss of abdominal visceral fat, lowers serum RBP4 concentrations in nondiabetic subjects. The relationship between individual changes in RBP4 and abdominal visceral fat indicated that RBP4 may be involved in the beneficial effect of visceral fat reduction on the improvement of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
The Japan Endocrine Society