Background: Sclerostin is an inhibitor of the wingless-type mouse mammary tumor
virus integration site family/β-catenin signalling pathway (WβcSP), which plays an important
role in bone metabolism and in vascular biology. It could act protective regarding atherosclerosis
development through its effect on WβcSP in vascular cells. Nevertheless, results of studies analyzing
association between circulating sclerostin level (CSL) and atherosclerotic diseases (AD)
are showing conflicting results. The aim of this study is to test the value of CSL as a biomarker of
subclinical carotid atherosclerosis (SCA) in obese persons.
Methods: The cross-sectional study included 50 obese persons without previous history of diabetes
and AD. Participants underwent adequate anthropometrical, ultrasound and laboratory examinations,
including 2h 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
Results: Only the presence of SCA significantly indirectly correlated with CSL (p<0.05). Based on
the median value of CSL, we formed two groups: low CSL (CSL<7.9 pmol/l) and high CSL
(CSL>7.9 pmol/l). There were no statistically significant differences in general (gender, age and
current smoking) and anthropometrical characteristics (body mass index, waist circumference, systolic
and diastolic blood pressure), inflammatory (total white blood cell count, erythrocyte sedimentation
rate, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein and uric acid), glucose metabolism (fasting and 2h OGTT
blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin and presence of dysglycemia) and lipid metabolism (low density
lipoprotein cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein A-I,
apolipoprotein B and lipoprotein (a)) parameters between low and high CSL groups. Low CSL
group had significantly higher incidence of SCA (p<0.05).
Conclusion: CSL could serve as a useful biomarker of early atherosclerosis in obese persons without
previous history of cardiometabolic disorders but the final conclusion requires further testing.