, Volume 234, Issue 12, pp 1923–1932 | Cite as

Body and liver fat content and adipokines in schizophrenia: a magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy study

  • Jong-Hoon KimEmail author
  • Jung-Hyun Kim
  • Pil-Whan Park
  • Jürgen Machann
  • Michael Roden
  • Sheen-Woo Lee
  • Jong-Hee HwangEmail author
Original Investigation



Although antipsychotic treatment often causes weight gain and lipid abnormalities, quantitative analyses of tissue-specific body fat content and its distribution along with adipokines have not been reported for antipsychotic-treated patients.


The purposes of the present study were to quantitatively assess abdominal and liver fat in patients with schizophrenia on antipsychotic treatment and age- and body mass index (BMI)-matched healthy controls and to evaluate their associations with plasma leptin and adiponectin levels.


In 13 schizophrenia patients on antipsychotic treatment and 11 age- and BMI-matched controls, we simultaneously quantified visceral and subcutaneous fat content using T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and liver fat content by 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Associations of tissue-specific fat content with plasma levels of leptin and adiponectin were evaluated.


Plasma adiponectin level (μg/mL) was not statistically different between groups (7.02 ± 2.67 vs. 7.59 ± 2.92), whereas plasma leptin level (ng/mL) trended to be higher in patients than in controls (11.82 ± 7.89 vs. 7.93 ± 5.25). The values of liver fat (%), visceral fat (L), and subcutaneous fat (L) were 9.64 ± 8.03 vs. 7.07 ± 7.35, 4.41 ± 1.64 vs. 3.31 ± 1.97, and 8.37 ± 3.34 vs. 7.16 ± 2.99 in patients vs. controls, respectively. Liver fat content was inversely correlated with adiponectin in controls (r =  − 0.87, p < 0.001) but not in patients (r =  − 0.26, p = 0.39). In both groups, visceral fat was inversely associated with adiponectin (controls : r =  − 0.66, p = 0.03; patients : r =  − 0.65, p = 0.02), while subcutaneous fat was positively correlated with leptin (controls : r = 0.90, p < 0.001; patients : r = 0.67, p = 0.01).


These findings suggest that antipsychotic treatment may disrupt the physiological relationship between liver fat content and adiponectin but does not essentially affect the associations of adiponectin and leptin with visceral and subcutaneous compartments.


Antipsychotics Schizophrenia Adiponectin Leptin Abdominal and liver fat MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy 



This study was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2015R1C1A2A01051461), and Gachon University Gil Medical Center (Grant #2013-33). For Jong-Hoon Kim, this work was partly supported by a grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (number: HI14C2750). The authors thank Prof. Jun-Young Chung for technical support with the Siemens scanner and Prof. Daniel T Stein at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York, USA) for fruitful discussion on the procedure of blood sampling and analyses. The authors also thank the radiographers for scanning participants.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jong-Hoon Kim
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jung-Hyun Kim
    • 4
  • Pil-Whan Park
    • 5
  • Jürgen Machann
    • 6
    • 7
  • Michael Roden
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
  • Sheen-Woo Lee
    • 11
  • Jong-Hee Hwang
    • 12
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University School of MedicineGachon UniversityIncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Neuroscience Research InstituteGachon UniversityIncheonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University School of Medicine, Neuroscience Research InstituteGachon UniversityIncheonRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Division of Molecular Medicine, Gachon University School of MedicineGachon UniversityIncheonRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Department of Laboratory Medicine, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University School of MedicineGachon UniversityIncheonRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM) of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the University of Tübingen; German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD)München-NeuherbergGermany
  7. 7.Section on Experimental Radiology, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyUniversity Hospital TübingenTübingenGermany
  8. 8.Institute for Clinical Diabetology, German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich-Heine University DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  9. 9.Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Medical FacultyHeinrich-Heine UniversityDüsseldorfGermany
  10. 10.German Center for Diabetes ResearchMünchen-NeuherbergGermany
  11. 11.Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Gil Medical CenterGachon University School of Medicine, Gachon UniversityIncheonRepublic of Korea
  12. 12.Metabolic Imaging, German Diabetes Center (DDZ), Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich-Heine University DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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