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J Biomol Screen. 2011 Jul;16(6):628-36. doi: 10.1177/1087057111403474. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

High-throughput screening for small-molecule adiponectin secretion modulators.

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Genomic Science Laboratories, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd., Konohana-Ku, Osaka, Japan.


Adiponectin is an adipokine secreted by adipocytes and plays a role in the suppression of metabolic disorders that can result in type 2 diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis. Several studies have shown that upregulation of adiponectin has a number of therapeutic benefits. Although peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) agonists are known to increase adiponectin secretion both in cultured adipocytes and humans, they have several side effects, such as weight gain, congestive heart failure, and edema. Therefore, adiponectin secretion modulators that do not possess PPARγ agonistic activity seem to promising for a number of conditions. Here, the authors report on the development of a reporter-based high-throughput screening (HTS) assay using insulin-resistant-mimic 3T3-L1 adipocytes for discovery of adiponectin secretion modulators. They screened a library of approximately 100 000 small-molecule compounds using this model, performed several follow-up screens, and identified six hit compounds that increase adiponectin secretion without having PPARγ agonistic activity. These compounds may be useful drug candidates for diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, and other metabolic syndromes. This HTS assay might be applicable to screening for other adipokine modulators that can be useful for the treatment of other conditions.

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