Adiponectin is a hormone secreted almost exclusively from adipocytes that correlates closely with insulin sensitivity in human beings and rodents. In contrast to other adipokines, adiponectin levels decrease as fat mass increases. This hormone holds potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications for feline obesity and diabetes. Although previous studies have identified strong associations between obesity and gender and/or reproductive status in cats, the influence of adiponectin in these associations has not been evaluated. The purpose of this study was to identify the impact of gender and reproductive status on adiponectin and insulin resistance. These findings may help to better understand the role of adiponectin in obesity and insulin resistance in the cat.
This study compared four groups of lean (BCS 4-6/9), healthy, young adult cats (1-6 years; n=40) to determine the influence of gender and gonadectomy on total serum adiponectin levels. Each group consisted of ten cats in each of the following categories: intact female (IF), intact male (IM), neutered female (NF), neutered male (NM). General health status was assessed through physical exam, complete blood count, and chemistry panel with electrolytes. Body weight and body condition scores (BCS) were also recorded. Serum samples for adiponectin were collected from fasted cats at one time point and stored at -80°C. A commercial ELISA kit was used to measure adiponectin (B-Bridge International, Mountain View, CA). A linear ANOVA model was used for statistical analysis (SAS v.9.1) and compared gender, reproductive status, body weight with total adiponectin.
Body weight differed between all groups except for IM and NF (P < .05) while BCS did not differ. There was no significant difference between adiponectin levels among groups (P<.05). However, NF tended to have greater adiponectin levels compared to IM (P = 0.07) and neutered animals tended to have higher adiponectin levels compared to intact animals (P = 0.06). While this study indicates total adiponectin levels are not influenced by gender or gonadectomy in domestic cats, there are strong trends that may be influenced by sample size.