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Eur J Endocrinol. 2002 Nov;147(5):571-4.

Resistin - a mediator of obesity-associated insulin resistance or an innocent bystander?

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  • Department of Internal Medicine and Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Kajaanintie 50/PO Box 5000, FIN-90220 Oulu, Finland. olavi.ukkola@oulu.fi


The objective of this review is to summarize the current evidence of a novel adipocytokine, resistin. Resistin is a novel peptide hormone that belongs to a family of tIssue-specific resistin-like molecules originally named for its resistance to insulin. Although a seminal proposal by Steppan et al. suggested resistin to be a hormone that links obesity to diabetes, several studies have subsequently been published supporting the concept that insulin resistance and obesity are actually associated with a decreased resistin expression. Resistin expression is regulated by a variety of agents and hormones, including thiazolidinediones, insulin, tumor necrosis factor alpha and growth hormone. Studies about their role in the regulation of resistin expression are, however, inconsistent in many cases. Experiments in humans have shown no differences in resistin expression between normal, insulin-resistant or type 2 diabetic samples. However, some recent genetic studies have demonstrated an association between resistin and insulin resistance and obesity. In addition, regional variation in the expression of resistin mRNA and protein levels in humans is an interesting finding with the highest levels found in the abdominal depot. In conclusion, resistin is a fascinating new hormone for which a definite role in metabolism will be revealed in the near future.

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