Serum adipokine levels and associations with patient-reported fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus

Mary A. Mahieu*, Grace E. Ahn, Joan S. Chmiel, Dorothy D. Dunlop, Irene B. Helenowski, Pamela Semanik, Jing Song, Susan Yount, Rowland W. Chang, Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Physical activity ameliorates fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients by an unknown mechanism. Adipokines, which are influenced by adiposity and physical activity, may be associated with patient-reported fatigue. We describe cross-sectional associations between adipokines and fatigue, physical activity, and SLE disease activity. We measured adipokines, self-reported fatigue, and objective physical activity in 129 SLE patients. Fatigue was assessed with the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System® (PROMIS®) Fatigue score. Disease activity was measured with the Safety of Estrogens in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment-Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SELENA-SLEDAI). Participants wore an accelerometer for 7 days to measure physical activity. Leptin, adiponectin, and resistin were measured in stored serum with a Luminex bead-based assay. Multivariable regression models assessed relationships between fatigue and adipokines, and Spearman correlation coefficients summarized associations between adipokines, physical activity, and SELENA-SLEDAI. Median adipokine levels were: leptin 30.5 ng/ml (Interquartile Range 14.0, 56.6), adiponectin 11.6 μg/ml (7.2, 16.8) and resistin 1.4 ng/ml (1.0, 2.2). Associations between adipokines and FSS or PROMIS fatigue were not significant. Body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2 was associated with FSS and PROMIS fatigue in regression analyses (p < 0.05). Weak correlations between leptin, adiponectin, leptin/adiponectin (L/A) ratio, and physical activity and between adiponectin and SELENA-SLEDAI score were not significant after adjusting for BMI. Adipokines were not associated with fatigue in SLE. Adipokines were correlated with physical activity (leptin, adiponectin, L/A ratio) and SLE disease activity (adiponectin), but most of these associations were explained by BMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1053-1061
Number of pages9
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Adipokines
  • Fatigue
  • Physical activity
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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