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Curr Opin Lipidol. 2006 Apr;17(2):170-5.


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Diabetes and Metabolism Research Laboratory, Clinical Sciences Research Institute, UHCW Trust, Walsgrave, Coventry, UK.



Resistin, a cysteine-rich 12.5 kDa polypeptide, is a recently discovered adipocytokine with a controversial history regarding its role in the pathogenesis of obesity-mediated insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Whilst current studies appear to re-affirm the role of resistin on glucose homeostasis in rodent systems, we are still unravelling the functionality of resistin in human biology in respect to glucose metabolism and insulin signalling. This review will summarize the current knowledge, put into context the developments to date and discuss the controversial points.


Current evidence appears to suggest that resistin is a pro-inflammatory cytokine. Thus, like many other adipocytokines, resistin may possess a dual role in contributing to metabolic disease: first through its direct effects on substrate metabolism and second, through regulating inflammation within its target tissues. The chemistry of resistin has also been the subject of investigation and like adiponectin, the homo-oligomerization of this protein has a bearing on its function.


The most recent advances include the identification of circulating higher molecular weight structures of resistin in both rodent and human serum. This has been complemented by work casting light on the function and purpose of multimeric resistin in mice. Resistin appears to have effects on substrate metabolism through impairment of insulin action, particularly in the liver, but in addition, also has effects on insulin independent pathways.

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