Expression and secretion of inflammation-related adipokines by human adipocytes differentiated in culture: integrated response to TNF-alpha.

Research paper by Bohan B Wang, John R JR Jenkins, Paul P Trayhurn

Indexed on: 25 Nov '04Published on: 25 Nov '04Published in: American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism


The expression profile of a series of adipokine genes linked to inflammation has been examined by quantitative PCR during the differentiation of human preadipocytes to adipocytes in primary culture, together with the integrated effects of TNF-alpha on the expression of these adipokines in the differentiated adipocytes. Expression of the genes encoding adiponectin, leptin, and haptoglobin was highly differentiation dependent, the mRNA being undetectable predifferentiation with the level peaking 9-15 days postdifferentiation. Although angiotensinogen (AGT) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were both expressed before differentiation, the mRNA level increased markedly on differentiation. The expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) fell after differentiation, whereas that of TNF-alpha and IL-6 changed little. Measurement of adiponectin, leptin, MCP-1, and NGF in the medium by ELISA showed that the protein secretion pattern paralleled cellular mRNA levels. Treatment of differentiated human adipocytes with TNF-alpha (5 or 100 ng/ml for 24 h) significantly decreased the level of adiponectin, AGT, and haptoglobin mRNA (by 2- to 4-fold), whereas that of leptin and PAI-1 was unchanged. In contrast, TNF-alpha induced substantial increases in IL-6, TNF-alpha, metallothionein, MCP-1, and NGF mRNAs, the largest increase being with MCP-1 (14.5-fold). MCP-1 and NGF secretion increased 8- to 10-fold with TNF-alpha, whereas leptin and adiponectin did not change. These results demonstrate that there are major quantitative changes in adipokine gene expression during differentiation of human adipocytes and that TNF-alpha has a pleiotropic effect on inflammation-related adipokine production, the synthesis of MCP-1 and NGF being highly induced by the cytokine.