Resistin gene expression in human adipocytes is not related to insulin resistance

Obes Res. 2002 Jan;10(1):1-5. doi: 10.1038/oby.2002.1.


Objectives: Obesity is an important risk factor for the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Recently, a newly described circulating hormone resistin, which is expressed primarily in adipocytes, has been shown to antagonize insulin action in mice. Resistin, therefore, has been suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance.

Research methods and procedures: We studied the expression of the resistin gene in primary cultured human adipocytes and preadipocytes. We also examined resistin gene expression in subcutaneous abdominal adipocytes in women (n = 24) over a wide range of body weight and insulin sensitivity.

Results: Whereas resistin gene expression was barely detectable in mature adipocytes, it was highly expressed in preadipocytes. Adipogenic differentiation of preadipocytes was associated with a time-dependent down-regulation of resistin gene expression. There was no relationship between body weight, insulin sensitivity, or other metabolic parameters and adipocyte resistin gene expression in the clinical study.

Discussion: Together these findings do not support an important role of adipose-tissue resistin gene expression in human insulin resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Adult
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Hormones, Ectopic / genetics*
  • Hormones, Ectopic / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity
  • Resistin


  • Hormones, Ectopic
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • RETN protein, human
  • RETNLB protein, human
  • Resistin