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Increased circulating levels of irisin are associated with cardiovascular risk factors in subjects with acromegaly

  • Mehmet CalanEmail author
  • Mustafa Demirpence
Original Article



Irisin, a peptide secreted from muscle and adipose tissues, is associated with insulin resistance as well as metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Acromegaly is a rare disorder caused by overproduction of growth hormone (GH) and is associated with functional and structural differentiation of adipose and muscle tissues. Acromegalic subjects are also at risk of vascular diseases and metabolic dysfunctions. We aimed to determine the altered levels of irisin in subjects with active acromegaly and controlled acromegaly and in controls, and to ascertain whether there is an association between irisin and hormonal and cardiometabolic parameters.


We enrolled 40 subjects with active acromegaly, 30 subjects with controlled acromegaly, and 40 control subjects of matched age, gender, BMI, and occurrence of hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome distribution in the present cross-sectional study. Hormonal and metabolic parameters, carotid intima media thickness (cIMT), and epicardial fat thickness (EFT) of the subjects were evaluated. Irisin levels were measured using ELISA.


Circulating levels of irisin were significantly higher in acromegalic subjects compared to both controlled acromegalic subjects and controls. Moreover, irisin levels were elevated in controlled acromegalic subjects compared to controls. Irisin displayed a positive correlation with insulin resistance, cIMT, EFT, BMI, GH, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) in acromegalic subjects. Irisin levels were independently associated with cIMT and EFT according to multiple regression analyses. There was an independent relationship between irisin and IGF-1.


Elevated irisin levels in acromegalic subjects were associated with cIMT and EFT, suggesting that irisin is a surrogate marker for cardiovascular risk in acromegalic subjects.


Acromegaly Irisin Carotid intima media thickness Epicardial fat thickness Insulin resistance Insulin-like growth factor-1 



alanine aminotransferase


aspartate aminotransferase


one-way analysis of variance


body mass index


blood urea nitrogen


carotid intima media thickness


confidence interval


coefficient of variability


diastolic blood pressure


fasting blood glucose


epicardial fat thickness


growth hormone


high-density lipoprotein cholesterol


homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance


insulin-like growth factor-1


low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


oral glucose tolerance test


systolic blood pressure


type 2 diabetes mellitus


variance inflation factor



We are grateful to Dr. Yeliz Pekçevik, who measured cIMT, to Dr. Ahmet Sayın, who measured EFT, and to Dr. Ayfer Çolak, who measured circulating apelin levels.

Author contributions

M.C. and M.D. participated in study design. M.C. and M.D. participated in study design, analyzed the data, wrote, reviewed and edited the manuscript. M.C. and M.D. provided serum samples and contributed to discussions of data interpretation. All authors reviewed and edited the manuscript. M.C. is the guarantor of this work and, as such, had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

The subjects gave their oral and written informed consent before their inclusion in the study. The study adhered strictly to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki as revised in 2008.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal MedicineIzmir Bozyaka Training and Research HospitalIzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal MedicineIzmir Tepecik Training and Research HospitalIzmirTurkey

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