Context: Obesity-associated inflammation is a contributory factor in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM); the mechanisms underlying the progression to T2DM are unclear. The adipokine resistin has demonstrated pro-inflammatory properties in relation to obesity and T2DM.\ud Objective: To characterize resistin expression in human obesity and address the role of resistin in the innate immune pathway. Furthermore, examine the influence of lipopolysaccharide, recombinant human resistin (rhResistin), insulin and rosiglitazone in human adipocytes. Finally, analyze the effect of rhResistin on the expression of components of the NF-κB pathway and insulin signaling cascade.\ud Methods: Abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue was obtained from patients undergoing elective liposuction surgery (n = 35, aged: 36-49 yr; BMI: 26.5 ± 5.9 kg/m2). Isolated adipocytes were cultured with rhResistin (10-50 ng/ml). The level of cytokine secretion from isolated adipocytes was examined by ELISA. The effect of rhResistin on protein expression of components of the innate immune pathway was examined by Western blot.\ud Results: In-vitro studies demonstrated that antigenic stimuli increase resistin secretion (P < 0.001) from isolated adipocytes. Pro-inflammatory cytokine levels were increased in response to rhResistin (P < 0.001); this was attenuated by rosiglitazone (P < 0.01). When examining components of the innate immune pathway, rhResistin stimulated Toll-like receptor-2 protein expression. Similarly, mediators of the insulin signaling pathway, phosphospecific JNK1 and JNK2, were upregulated in response to rhResistin.\ud Conclusion: Resistin may participate in more than one mechanism to influence pro-inflammatory cytokine release from human adipocytes; potentially via the integration of NF-κB and JNK signaling pathways
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