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J Biol Chem. 2009 Sep 18;284(38):25569-75. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.019786. Epub 2009 Jul 18.

Adiponectin inhibits pro-inflammatory signaling in human macrophages independent of interleukin-10.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Macrophages participate pivotally in the pathogenesis of many chronic inflammatory diseases including atherosclerosis. Adiponectin, a vasculoprotective molecule with insulin-sensitizing and anti-atherogenic properties, suppresses pro-inflammatory gene expression in macrophages by mechanisms that remain incompletely understood. This study investigated the effects of adiponectin on major pro-inflammatory signaling pathways in human macrophages. We demonstrate that pretreatment of these cells with adiponectin inhibits phosphorylation of nuclear factor kappaB inhibitor (IkappaB), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), induced by either lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, as well as STAT3 phosphorylation induced by interleukin-6 (IL6). Antagonism of IL10 by either neutralizing antibodies or siRNA-mediated silencing did not abrogate the anti-inflammatory actions of adiponectin, indicating that the ability of adiponectin to render human macrophages tolerant to various pro-inflammatory stimuli does not require this cytokine. A systematic search for adiponectin-inducible genes with established anti-inflammatory properties revealed that adiponectin augmented the expression of A20, suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) 3, B-cell CLL/lymphoma (BCL) 3, TNF receptor-associated factor (TRAF) 1, and TNFAIP3-interacting protein (TNIP) 3. These results suggest that adiponectin triggers a multifaceted response in human macrophages by inducing the expression of various anti-inflammatory proteins that act at different levels in concert to suppress macrophage activation.

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