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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2009 Sep;29(9):1328-35. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.109.186957. Epub 2009 Aug 10.

Association of scavenger receptors in adipose tissue with insulin resistance in nondiabetic humans.

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  • 1Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, 111J, 4300 West 7th Street, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.



Scavenger receptors play crucial roles in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, but their role in insulin resistance has not been explored. We hypothesized that scavenger receptors are present in human adipose tissue resident macrophages, and their gene expression is regulated by adiponectin and thaizolidinediones.


The gene expression of scavenger receptors including scavenger receptor-A (SRA), CD36, and lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1) were studied in subcutaneous adipose tissue of nondiabetic subjects and in vitro. Adipose tissue SRA expression was independently associated with insulin resistance. Pioglitazone downregulated SRA gene expression in adipose tissue of subjects with impaired glucose tolerance and decreased LOX-1 mRNA in vitro. Macrophage LOX-1 expression was decreased when macrophages were cocultured with adipocytes or when exposed to adipocyte conditioned medium. Adding adiponectin neutralizing antibody resulted in a 2-fold increase in LOX-1 gene expression demonstrating that adiponectin regulates LOX-1 expression.


Adipose tissue scavenger receptors are strongly associated with insulin resistance. Pioglitazone and adiponectin regulate gene expression of SRA and LOX-1, and this may have clinical implications in arresting the untoward sequalae of insulin resistance and diabetes, including accelerated atherosclerosis.

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