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BACKGROUND: Adipose tissue secretory proteins, called adipokines, play pivotal roles in the pathophysiology of obesity and its associated disorders such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Because methods for comprehensive adipokine profiling in patient plasma and other biological samples are currently limited, we developed a multiplex immunoassay for rapid and high-throughput measurement of 25 adipokines in only 50 microL of sample. METHODS: (Pre)adipocyte and ex vivo cultured adipose tissue supernatants were generated and together with plasma from 5 morbidly obese patients and 5 healthy and normal weight controls used to develop the adipokine multiplex immunoassay and test its usefulness in biological samples. We assessed adipokine dynamic ranges, lower limits of detection and quantification, cross-reactivity, intra- and interassay variation, and correlation with adipokine ELISAs. RESULTS: The limits of quantification and broad dynamic ranges enabled measurement of all 25 adipokines in supernatants and patient plasmas, with the exception of TNF-alpha in plasma samples. Intraassay variation was <10% for all adipokines; interassay variation was < 15%. The multiplex immunoassay results correlated significantly with ELISA measurements. Plasma adipokine profiling showed significantly higher concentrations of the novel adipokines cathepsin S (5.1 x 10(4) vs 4.3 x 10(4) ng/L, P = 0.003) and chemerin (4.1 x 10(5) vs 2.7 x 10(5) ng/L, P = 0.0008) in morbidly obese patients than normal weight controls, besides the established differences in adiponectin and leptin concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings underscore the relevance of the novel adipokines cathepsin S and chemerin, but foremost the potential of this novel method for both comprehensive adipokine profiling in large patient cohorts and for biological discovery.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin chem

Publication Date





1320 - 1328


Adipocytes, Adipokines, Adipose Tissue, Adult, Cell Line, Cross Reactions, Female, Humans, Immunoassay, Middle Aged, Obesity, Morbid, Reproducibility of Results, Young Adult