Adiponectin attenuates allergen-induced airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in mice

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Aug;118(2):389-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2006.04.021. Epub 2006 May 30.


Background: Epidemiologic data indicate an increased incidence of asthma in the obese.

Objective: Because serum levels of the insulin-sensitizing and anti-inflammatory adipokine adiponectin are reduced in obese individuals, we sought to determine whether exogenous adiponectin can attenuate allergic airway responses.

Methods: We sensitized and challenged BALB/cJ mice with ovalbumin (OVA). Alzet micro-osmotic pumps were implanted in the mice to deliver continuous infusions of buffer or adiponectin (1.0 microg/g/d), which resulted in an approximate 60% increase in serum adiponectin levels. Two days later, mice were challenged with aerosolized saline or OVA once per day for 3 days. Mice were examined 24 hours after the last challenge.

Results: OVA challenge increased airway responsiveness to intravenous methacholine, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cells, and T(H)2 cytokine levels. Importantly, each of these responses to OVA was reduced in adiponectin- versus buffer-treated mice. OVA challenge caused a 30% reduction in serum adiponectin levels and a corresponding decrease in adipose tissue adiponectin mRNA expression. OVA challenge also decreased pulmonary mRNA expression of each of 3 proposed adiponectin-binding proteins, adiponectin receptor 1, adiponectin receptor 2, and T-cadherin.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that serum adiponectin is reduced during pulmonary allergic reactions and that adiponectin attenuates allergic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in mice.

Clinical implications: The data suggest that adiponectin might play a role in the relationship between obesity and asthma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adiponectin / genetics
  • Adiponectin / pharmacology
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Allergens / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / immunology
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / prevention & control*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / immunology
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Leukocytes / drug effects
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Lung / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ovalbumin / pharmacology
  • Pneumonia / immunology
  • Pneumonia / prevention & control*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Adiponectin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology


  • Adiponectin
  • Adipoq protein, mouse
  • Allergens
  • Cadherins
  • H-cadherin
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Adiponectin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • adiponectin receptor 1, mouse
  • adiponectin receptor 2, mouse
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ovalbumin