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Diabetes. 2011 Jan;60(1):189-99. doi: 10.2337/db09-1894. Epub 2010 Oct 22.

P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 deficiency is protective against obesity-related insulin resistance.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Clinical Science, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.



An inflammatory process is involved in the mechanism of obesity-related insulin resistance. Recent studies indicate that monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) is a major chemokine that promotes monocyte infiltration into adipose tissues; however, the adhesion pathway in adipose tissues remains unclear. We aimed to clarify the adhesion molecules that mediate monocyte infiltration into adipose tissue.


We used a DNA microarray to compare the gene expression profiles in epididymal white adipose tissues (eWAT) between db/db mice and C57/BL6 mice each fed a high-fat diet (HFD) or a low-fat diet (LFD). We investigated the change of insulin resistance and inflammation in eWAT in P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1) homozygous knockout (PSGL-1⁻(/)⁻) mice compared with wild-type (WT) mice fed HFD.


DNA microarray analysis revealed that PSGL-1, a major ligand for selectins, is upregulated in eWAT from both db/db mice and WT mice fed HFD. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry showed that PSGL-1 is expressed on both endothelial cells and macrophages in eWAT of obese mice. PSGL-1⁻(/)⁻ mice fed HFD showed a remarkable reduction of macrophage accumulation and expression of proinflammatory genes, including MCP-1 in eWAT. Moreover, adipocyte hypertrophy, insulin resistance, lipid metabolism, and hepatic fatty change were improved in PSGL-1⁻(/) ⁻mice compared with WT mice fed HFD.


These results indicate that PSGL-1 is a crucial adhesion molecule for the recruitment of monocytes into adipose tissues in obese mice, making it a candidate for a novel therapeutic target for the prevention of obesity-related insulin resistance.

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