A novel adipocytokine, chemerin exerts anti-inflammatory roles in human vascular endothelial cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Jun 22;423(1):152-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.05.103. Epub 2012 May 24.


Chemerin is a recently identified adipocytokine which plays a role on inflammation and adipocytes metabolism. However, its function in vasculature is largely unknown. We examined the effects of chemerin on vascular endothelial inflammatory states. Treatment of human umbilical vein endothelial cells with chemerin (300 ng/ml, 20 min) induced phosphorylation of Akt (Ser473) and endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS) (Ser1177). Consistently, chemerin increased intracellular cyclic GMP content. Pretreatment with chemerin (1-300 ng/ml, 24 h) significantly inhibited phosphorylation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB p65 (Ser536) and p38 as well as vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 expression induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α (5 ng/ml, 20 min-6 h). Inhibitor of NF-κB or p38 significantly inhibited the TNF-α-induced VCAM-1 expression. Chemerin also inhibited TNF-α-induced VCAM-1 expression in rat isolated aorta. Moreover, chemerin significantly inhibited monocytes adhesion to TNF-α-stimulated endothelial cells. The inhibitory effect of chemerin on TNF-α-induced VCAM-1 was reversed by a NOS inhibitor. Conversely, an NO donor, sodium nitroprusside significantly inhibited TNF-α-induced VCAM-1. The present results for the first time demonstrate that chemerin plays anti-inflammatory roles by preventing TNF-α-induced VCAM-1 expression and monocytes adhesion in vascular endothelial cells. The effect is mediated via inhibiting activation of NF-κB and p38 through stimulation of Akt/eNOS signaling and NO production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / pharmacology
  • Adipokines / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Chemokines / pharmacology
  • Chemokines / physiology*
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Male
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / physiology
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • Adipokines
  • Chemokines
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • RARRES2 protein, human
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Nitric Oxide
  • NOS3 protein, human
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases