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Open Access Highly Accessed Original investigation

Serum lipocalin-2 levels positively correlate with coronary artery disease and metabolic syndrome

Jie Ni1, Xiaojing Ma1, Mi Zhou1, Xiaoping Pan1, Junling Tang1, Yaping Hao1, Zhigang Lu2, Meifang Gao2, Yuqian Bao1* and Weiping Jia1

  • * Corresponding author: Yuqian Bao

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Clinical Center for Diabetes, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Diabetes Mellitus, Shanghai Diabetes Institute, 600 Yishan Road, Shanghai, 200233, China

2 Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai, China

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Cardiovascular Diabetology 2013, 12:176  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-176

Published: 21 December 2013



The lipocalin-2 (LCN2) cytokine, primarily known as a protein of the granules of human neutrophils, has been recently reported to be implicated in metabolic and inflammatory disorders. This study was designed to evaluate the relationship between serum LCN2 levels and coronary artery disease (CAD).


Serum LCN2 levels of 261 in-patients who underwent coronary angiography were measured by sandwich enzyme immunoassay. Demographic (169 men and 92 postmenopausal women) and clinical (metabolic syndrome (MS), triglyceride (TG) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels) characteristics were collected to assess independent factors of CAD (CAD: 188 and non-CAD: 73) and serum LCN2 levels by multiple logistic regression and multivariate stepwise regression analyses, respectively.


Serum LCN2 levels were significantly higher in men (37.5 (27.4-55.4) vs. women: 28.2 (18.7-45.9) ng/mL, p < 0.01) and men with CAD (39.2 (29.3-56.5) vs. non-CAD men: 32.7 (20.5-49.7) ng/mL, p < 0.05), and showed significant positive correlation with CAD in men (odds ratio = 2.218, 95% confidence interval: 1.017-4.839). Similarly, serum LCN2 levels were significantly higher in men with MS (40.2 (31.9-59.4) vs. non-MS: 32.0 (21.7-47.6) ng/mL, p < 0.01) and showed a significant positive correlation with the number of MS components (p for trend < 0.05). No significant differences or correlations were seen in women. TG and neutrophils (standard β = 0.238 and 0.173) were independent factors of serum LCN2 levels in men, and only neutrophils (standard β = 0.286) affected levels in women (all p < 0.05).


Increased serum LCN2 levels are positively correlated with the presence of CAD and MS in a Chinese cohort.

Atherosclerosis; Coronary artery disease; Metabolic syndrome; Serum LCN2 levels