, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 1204–1208 | Cite as

Circulating betatrophin correlates with atherogenic lipid profiles but not with glucose and insulin levels in insulin-resistant individuals

  • Anna Fenzl
  • Bianca K. Itariu
  • Lana Kosi
  • Monika Fritzer-Szekeres
  • Alexandra Kautzky-Willer
  • Thomas M. Stulnig
  • Florian W. Kiefer
Short Communication



The newly identified liver- and fat-derived hormone, betatrophin, has recently been linked to insulin resistance and pancreatic beta cell growth in mice. These preclinical findings have suggested betatrophin as a potential candidate for novel glucose-lowering treatment concepts involving beta cell regeneration. However, the role of betatrophin in human insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes is currently unknown. Hence, the aim of this study was to investigate circulating betatrophin concentrations in two distinct cohorts with insulin resistance.


Betatrophin concentrations were analysed in (1) age- and sex-matched lean (n = 20) and morbidly obese individuals (n = 19), and (2) age-, sex- and BMI-matched non-diabetic (n = 19) and type 2 diabetic individuals (n = 18).


Betatrophin concentrations did not differ between lean and morbidly obese or between non-diabetic and type 2 diabetic participants. No association was found with variables of beta cell function and glucose homeostasis. However, betatrophin did correlate significantly with plasma atherogenic lipids including total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein B in morbidly obese and type 2 diabetic patients but not in controls. Insulin-resistant individuals with hypercholesterolaemia (≥5.2 mmol/l) had significantly higher betatrophin concentrations than those with normal cholesterol (<5.2 mmol/l).


Betatrophin is a recently identified hormone, the circulating concentrations of which are unaltered in human insulin resistance but correlate significantly with atherogenic lipid profiles in high-risk cohorts with morbid obesity or type 2 diabetes. Betatrophin could therefore be a novel pathomechanistic player in dysfunctional lipid metabolism associated with high cardiovascular risk.


ANGPTL8 Betatrophin Insulin resistance Lipid metabolism LDL-cholesterol 



Angiopoietin-like protein





Supplementary material

125_2014_3208_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (84 kb)
ESM Table 1(PDF 83 kb)
125_2014_3208_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (75 kb)
ESM Table 2(PDF 75 kb)
125_2014_3208_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (158 kb)
ESM Fig. 1(PDF 158 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Fenzl
    • 1
  • Bianca K. Itariu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lana Kosi
    • 1
  • Monika Fritzer-Szekeres
    • 3
  • Alexandra Kautzky-Willer
    • 1
  • Thomas M. Stulnig
    • 1
    • 2
  • Florian W. Kiefer
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine IIIMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Christian Doppler-Laboratory for Cardio-Metabolic ImmunotherapyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Clinical Institute for Medical and Chemical Laboratory DiagnosticsMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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