Expression and biologic significance of adiponectin receptors in papillary thyroid carcinoma

Cell Biochem Biophys. 2013 Mar;65(2):203-10. doi: 10.1007/s12013-012-9419-1.


Obesity is associated with a higher incidence of thyroid cancer. Adiponectin is one of the most abundant adipokines with a pleiotropic role in metabolism and in the development and progression of cancer. It has been shown that circulating adiponectin level is inversely associated with the risk of thyroid cancer. This study aimed to investigate the possible association between the expression of adiponectin receptors (AdipoR1 and AdipoR2) and clinicopathological variables in papillary thyroid cancer. We found that protein levels of AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 were increased in some thyroid cancer specimens compared with adjacent normal thyroid tissues. Thyroid cancer cells expressed AdipoR1 and AdipoR2, which were attenuated by histone deacetylase inhibitors valproic acid and trichostatin A. Adiponectin stimulated AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation in thyroid cancer cells. We further determined the expression of AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 by immunohistochemical staining in primary tumor samples and metastatic lymph nodes. AdipoR1 was expressed in 27 % of primary tumors and AdipoR2 in 47 %. Negative expression of both adiponectin receptors was significantly associated with extrathyroidal invasion, multicentricity, and higher TNM stage. There was a trend toward decreased disease-free survival in patients with negative tumor expression of AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 (log-rank P = 0.051). Collectively, overexpression of adiponectin receptors was observed in some tumor tissues of papillary thyroid cancer and was associated with a better prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Adiponectin / pharmacology
  • Adult
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Receptors, Adiponectin / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Leptin / metabolism
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology


  • ADIPOR1 protein, human
  • ADIPOR2 protein, human
  • Adiponectin
  • Leptin
  • Receptors, Adiponectin
  • Receptors, Leptin
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases