Adiponectin mediates antiproliferative and apoptotic responses in human MCF7 breast cancer cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Jun 23;345(1):271-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.04.076. Epub 2006 Apr 27.


It is well established that obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer and that blood levels of adiponectin, a hormone mainly secreted by white adipocytes, are inversely correlated with the body fat mass. As adiponectin elicits anti-proliferative effects in some cell types, we tested the hypothesis that adiponectin could influence human breast cancer MCF-7 cell growth. Here we show that MCF-7 cells express adiponectin receptors and respond to human recombinant adiponectin by reducing their growth, AMPkinase activation, and p42/p44 MAPkinase inactivation. Further, we demonstrate that the anti-proliferative effect of adiponectin involves activation of cell apoptosis and inhibition of cell cycle. These findings suggest that adiponectin could act in vivo as a paracrine/endocrine growth inhibitor towards mammary epithelial cells. Moreover, adipose adiponectin production being strongly reduced in obesity, this study may help to explain why obesity is a risk factor of developing breast cancers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / administration & dosage*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Adiponectin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*


  • ADIPOR1 protein, human
  • ADIPOR2 protein, human
  • Adiponectin
  • Receptors, Adiponectin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface