Upregulation of adiponectin receptor 1 and 2 mRNA and protein in adipose tissue and adipocytes in insulin-resistant women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Diabetologia. 2006 Nov;49(11):2723-8. doi: 10.1007/s00125-006-0419-9. Epub 2006 Sep 26.


Aims/hypothesis: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a multifaceted metabolic disease linked with insulin resistance (IR) and obesity. Adiponectin, which is lower in IR states, exerts its glucose-lowering and anti-inflammatory effects by activating two receptors, ADIPOR1 and ADIPOR2. There are no data on the relative expression of these receptors in adipose tissue of PCOS women.

Methods: We investigated the expression of adiponectin receptors from corresponding s.c. and omental (o.m.) adipose tissue in women with PCOS compared with matched non-PCOS women. As there is a disturbance in the steroid milieu in PCOS women, we also assessed the effects of testosterone and oestradiol on adiponectin receptors using adipocytes and adipocyte explants. Real-time RT-PCR and western blotting were used to assess the relative adiponectin receptor mRNA expression and protein production, respectively. Biochemical measurements were performed in our hospital's laboratory.

Results: We are the first to describe adiponectin receptor expression and production, in corresponding s.c. and o.m. human adipose tissues at the mRNA and protein level. We demonstrate the upregulation of mRNA expression and protein production of adiponectin receptors in women with PCOS, in s.c. and o.m. adipose tissue. Treatment of adipose tissue explants and adipocytes with testosterone and oestradiol induced the expression of adiponectin receptor mRNA and protein. There was a significant positive association between ADIPOR1/R2 expression and homeostasis model assessment, testosterone, oestradiol and triglycerides and a negative relationship with sex hormone-binding globulin.

Conclusions/interpretation: The precise reason for the upregulation of adiponectin receptors seen in PCOS women, a pro-diabetic state, is unknown, but it appears that sex steroids may play a role in their regulation in adipose tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / physiology*
  • Adipose Tissue / physiopathology*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / genetics*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / surgery
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • Receptors, Adiponectin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic


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