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Metabolism. 2003 Aug;52(8):958-63.

Fat depot-specific expression of adiponectin is impaired in Zucker fatty rats.

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  • 1Carl C. Icahn Institute for Gene Therapy and Molecular Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029. USA.


Adiposity, particularly increased intra-abdominal fat, is a predisposing factor for the development of insulin resistance in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat seems to differ from subcutaneous adipose tissue in adipocytokine production. This fat depot-related difference has been viewed as an important mechanism by which adipose tissue exerts its paracrine/autocrine effects on peripheral tissue in modulating insulin sensitivity. We have studied the relative expression of adiponectin in visceral versus subcutaneous fat in Zucker fatty versus lean rats. Visceral fat, as opposed to subcutaneous fat, exhibited relatively higher levels of adiponectin production in lean animals. However, in Zucker fatty rats, adiponectin expression in visceral fat was suppressed to basal levels, which correlated with significantly reduced plasma adiponectin concentrations and increased insulin resistance. These results suggest that an impaired depot-specific expression of adiponectin is a contributing factor for the development of insulin resistance in Zucker fatty rats.

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