[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypoadiponectinemia is associated with insulin resistance. However, there is very limited information about the relationship between plasma adiponectin and cardiac autonomic nervous function. We tested the hypothesis that hypoadiponectinemia is associated with cardiac sympathetic overactivity in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Thirty-three male type 2 diabetic patients not on insulin treatment were classified into a hypoadiponectinemia group (plasma adiponectin concentration, <4.0 microg/mL; age, 58.6 +/- 8.6 years [mean +/- SD]; n = 14) and an age-matched normoadiponectinemia group (serum adiponectin concentration, >/=4.0 microg/mL; age, 58.2 +/- 8.1 years; n = 19). In each patient, baroreflex sensitivity, heart rate variability, plasma norepinephrine concentration, and cardiac (123)I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphic findings were assessed. Compared with the normoadiponectinemia group, the hypoadiponectinemia group had a higher body mass index (P < .01), higher plasma concentrations of glucose and insulin (P < .05 and P < .01, respectively), higher homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values (P < .005), higher plasma triglyceride levels (P < .05), and lower plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (P < .05). In the hypoadiponectinemia group, the autonomic function measurements included a lower baroreflex sensitivity (P< .05) and a lower delayed myocardial uptake of (123)I-MIBG (P < .01) with a higher washout rate (P < .05). Multiple regression analysis revealed that the plasma adiponectin level was independently associated with HOMA-IR (F = 9.916) and the percent washout rate of (123)I-MIBG (F = 5.985). Our results suggest that in middle-aged men with type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypoadiponectinemia is associated with cardiac sympathetic overactivity as determined by (123)I-MIBG scintigraphy.