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Mol Cells. 2012 Jun;33(6):591-6. doi: 10.1007/s10059-012-0012-7. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Differential patterns of serum concentration and adipose tissue expression of chemerin in obesity: adipose depot specificity and gender dimorphism.

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Obesity Research Center, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Chemerin, a recognized chemoattractant, is expressed in adipose tissue and plays a role in adipocytes differentiation and metabolism. Gender- and adipose tissue-specific differences in human chemerin expression have not been well characterized. Therefore, these differences were assessed in the present study. The body mass index (BMI) and the circulating levels of chemerin and other inflammatory, adiposity and insulin resistance markers were assessed in female and male adults of varying degree of obesity. Chemerin mRNA expression was also measured in paired subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue samples obtained from a subset of the study subjects. Serum chemerin concentrations correlated positively with BMI and serum leptin levels and negatively with high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol levels. No correlation was found between serum chemerin concentrations and fasting glucose, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, C-reactive protein or adiponectin. Similarly, no relation was observed with the homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values. Gender- and adipose tissue-specific differences were observed in chemerin mRNA expression levels, with expression significantly higher in women than men and in subcutaneous than visceral adipose tissue. Interestingly, we found a significant negative correlation between circulating chemerin levels and chemerin mRNA expression in subcutaneous fat. Among the subjects studied, circulating chemerin levels were associated with obesity markers but not with markers of insulin resistance. At the tissue level, fat depot-specific differential regulation of chemerin mRNA expression might contribute to the distinctive roles of subcutaneous vs. visceral adipose tissue in human obesity.

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