Increased expression of resistin and tumour necrosis factor-α in pig adipose tissue as well as effect of feeding treatment on resistin and cAMP pathway

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Resistin, a novel hormone, is expressed in mouse, rat and human adipose tissue. Its resistance to insulin is controversial. We hypothesized that resistin has the similar roles like those of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), a putative mediator of insulin resistance, and they are in common involved in regulating lipid metabolism in vivo.


We demonstrated TNF-α and resistin expression in different growth-stage adipose tissue of genetically lean and obese pigs using semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting analysis. Moreover, we analysed the variations of resistin and some parameters associated with lipolysis pathway after body-weight reduction in feeding-restricted obese pigs. In addition, we localized resistin expression in the cell types from pig adipose tissue.


Overall, the expression of TNF-α and resistin in obese pigs was statistically higher than their lean counterparts, although this difference in resistin mRNA expression tailed off with age. In individual pigs, their levels increased progressively with age and degree of obesity. After feeding restriction, resistin expression was gradually decreased. Simultaneously, feeding restriction also resulted in a significant decrease of serum triglyceride and plasma cAMP, free fatty acids and insulin as well as fat adenyl cyclase and cAMP. In addition, in isolated pig adipocytes, our data showed that resistin was localized not only to adipocytes but also to other unidentified stromal vascular cells.


TNF-α and resistin are increased in obesity. Weight loss results in the decrease of resistin and lipolysis-associated parameters, suggesting the possible association between resistin and lipolysis pathway. Cell localization of resistin expression implies the possibility of other biological actions of resistin.

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