Objective: Progranulin and C1q/TNF-related protein-3 (CTRP3) were recently discovered as novel adipokines which may link obesity with altered regulation of glucose metabolism, chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Research Design and Methods: We examined circulating progranulin and CTRP3 concentrations in 127 subjects with (n = 44) or without metabolic syndrome (n = 83). Furthermore, we evaluated the relationship of progranulin and CTRP3 levels with inflammatory markers and cardiometabolic risk factors, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and adiponectin serum concentrations, as well as carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT). Results: Circulating progranulin levels are significantly related with inflammatory markers, hsCRP (r = 0.30, P = 0.001) and IL-6 (r = 0.30, P = 0.001), whereas CTRP3 concentrations exhibit a significant association with cardiometabolic risk factors, including waist circumference (r = -0.21), diastolic blood pressure (r = -0.21), fasting glucose (r = -0.20), triglyceride (r = -0.34), total cholesterol (r = -0.25), eGFR (r = 0.39) and adiponectin (r = 0.26) levels. Serum progranulin concentrations were higher in patients with metabolic syndrome than those of the control group (199.55 [179.33, 215.53] vs. 185.10 [160.30, 204.90], P = 0.051) and the number of metabolic syndrome components had a significant positive correlation with progranulin levels (r = 0.227, P = 0.010). In multiple regression analysis, IL-6 and triglyceride levels were significant predictors of serum progranulin levels (R2 = 0.251). Furthermore, serum progranulin level was an independent predictor for increased CIMT in subjects without metabolic syndrome after adjusting for other cardiovascular risk factors (R2 = 0.365). Conclusions: Serum progranulin levels are significantly associated with systemic inflammatory markers and were an independent predictor for atherosclerosis in subjects without metabolic syndrome. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01668888.
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