S100A8/A9 complex, calprotectin, which serves as an endogenous ligand for immune pathways, is associated with atherosclerosis. These proteins are reported to have several functions such as activating NADPH oxidase, binding toll-like receptor 4 and associated with the receptor for advanced glycation end-products. We recently reported S100A8 mRNA was highly expressed in mouse white adipose tissues and differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. However, regulation of S100A9 expression in murine adipose tissue remains to be elucidated. The results of our studies in male Japanese, obese and control mice and cultured cells showed: (1) serum levels of S100A8/A9 complex, calprotectin, correlated with visceral fat area, body mass index, subcutaneous fat area, and leukocyte count in 500 Japanese men, and (2) higher mRNA expression levels of S100A8 in mature adipocyte fraction and S100A9 in stromal vascular cell fraction of obese mice, compared with those of lean mice. Overexpression of S100A8 and S100A9 in obese adipose tissue may be involved, at least partly, in not only high circulating levels of S100A8/A9 complex in abdominal obesity but also adipose and systemic tissue inflammation.
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