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Circulation. 2002 Nov 26;106(22):2767-70.

Adiponectin reduces atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Molecular Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, Japan.



Dysregulation of adipocyte-derived bioactive molecules plays an important role in the development of atherosclerosis. We previously reported that adiponectin, an adipocyte-specific plasma protein, accumulated in the injured artery from the plasma and suppressed endothelial inflammatory response and vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, as well as macrophage-to-foam cell transformation in vitro. The current study investigated whether the increased plasma adiponectin could actually reduce atherosclerosis in vivo.


Apolipoprotein E-deficient mice were treated with recombinant adenovirus expressing human adiponectin (Ad-APN) or beta-galactosidase (Ad-betagal). The plasma adiponectin levels in Ad-APN-treated mice increased 48 times as much as those in Ad-betagal treated mice. On the 14th day after injection, the lesion formation in aortic sinus was inhibited in Ad-APN-treated mice by 30% compared with Ad-betagal-treated mice (P<0.05). In the lesions of Ad-APN-treated mice, the lipid droplets became smaller compared with Ad-betagal-treated mice (P<0.01). Immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated that the adenovirus-mediated adiponectin migrate to foam cells in the fatty streak lesions. The real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed that Ad-APN treatment significantly suppressed the mRNA levels of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 by 29% and class A scavenger receptor by 34%, and tended to reduce levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha without affecting those of CD36 in the aortic tissue.


These findings documented for the first time that elevated plasma adiponectin suppresses the development of atherosclerosis in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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