The expression of rat resistin isoforms is differentially regulated in visceral adipose tissues: effects of aging and food restriction

Metabolism. 2009 Feb;58(2):204-11. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2008.09.014.


Two variants of the adipose hormone resistin are generated by alternative splicing in Wistar rats. Here we analyzed the expression of these resistin variants in 2 main visceral adipose depots, epididymal and retroperitoneal, as well as the resistin serum concentration during aging and food restriction. Total protein levels of resistin were also analyzed in extracts from both visceral adipose depots. Resistin variants show similar patterns of relative expression in visceral adipose tissues in 3-month-old rats, representing the short variant, s-resistin, which is 15% of the full-length transcript. However, only epididymal, but not retroperitoneal, fat pad shows a decrease in both messenger RNA and protein levels of resistin isoforms with aging. Food restriction decreases adiposity index in 8- and 24-month-old animals to values even lower than those of 3-month-old animals. Food restriction decreases resistin expression in both adipose tissues in 8-month-old but not in 24-month-old rats. Interestingly, concomitant with the improvement of insulin sensitivity asserted by homeostasis model assessment, resistin serum levels decrease only in food-restricted 8-month-old animals. In contrast, food restriction up-regulates s-resistin messenger RNA in epididymal adipose tissue, whereas no significant changes are appreciated in retroperitoneal adipose tissue. These data indicate that both forms of resistin are differentially regulated by fat depot location, aging, and even nutritional status, suggesting that alternative splicing plays a key role in this differential regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Alternative Splicing
  • Animals
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism*
  • Male
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Resistin / blood
  • Resistin / genetics*
  • Resistin / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Resistin