High Molecular Weight, but Not Total, CTRP3 Levels Are Associated With Serum Triglyceride Levels

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Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society. C1q/TNF-related protein 3 (CTRP3) is a relatively novel adipose tissue-derived cytokine (adipokine) which has been linked to improved glucose regulation and insulin sensitivity. However, the relationship between circulating CTRP3 levels and diabetes is controversial. CTRP3 can circulate in different oligomeric complexes: trimeric, hexameric, and high molecular weight (HMW) oligomeric complexes. However, the concentration of the different oligomeric complexes in human disease states has not been previously investigated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the levels of different oligomeric complexes of CTRP3 between type 2 diabetic and nondiabetic individuals. Additionally, the association between the oligomeric complexes and other serum factors was examined. CTRP3 primarily circulates in the HMW complex (>50%) and the hexametric multimer, with no CTRP3 detected in the trimeric complex or as a monomer. Further, no differences were observed in total, hexameric, or HMW CTRP3 levels regardless of diabetic status. Surprisingly, HMW CTRP3 was found to be positively correlated with circulating triglyceride levels. Combined, these data suggest that CTRP3 is associated with triglyceride regulation, not diabetic status. These data may explain some of the discrepancies in the literature as elevated triglyceride levels are often detected in patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes.