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.