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Exp Mol Med. 2013 Jan 10;45:e4. doi: 10.1038/emm.2013.4.

B-cell-activating factor is a regulator of adipokines and a possible mediator between adipocytes and macrophages.

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School of Life Sciences, Handong Global University, Pohang, Gyungbuk, Korea.


3T3-L1 adipocytes express the B-cell-activating factor (BAFF) and three different BAFF receptors (BAFF-Rs). Furthermore, BAFF expression is regulated by inflammatory modulators, such as tumor necrosis factor-α and rosiglitazone. Here we investigated the function of BAFF in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and RAW 264.7 macrophages. We examined adipokine expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes treated with 10 ng ml(-1) BAFF. We also examined inflammatory molecule expression in RAW 264.7 macrophages treated with 10 or 100 ng ml(-1) BAFF. We examined BAFF expression in the coculture of 3T3-L1 adipocytes and RAW 264.7 macrophages, as well as in white adipose tissue (WAT) of diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. We found that BAFF decreases leptin and adiponectin expression, but increases the expression of proinflammatory adipokines monocyte chemotactic protein-1, interleukin-6 (IL-6), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and haptoglobin. Coculturing the two cell types resulted in increased BAFF mRNA and protein expression, as well as modulation of BAFF-R mRNA expression in both cell types. These data indicate that BAFF might mediate adipocyte and macrophage interaction. When RAW 264.7 macrophages were treated with BAFF, BAFF-R expression was modulated as in coculture, and nitric oxide synthase and IL-6 expression increased. BAFF expression also increased in WAT of DIO mice. We propose that BAFF can regulate adipokine expression and possibly mediate adipocyte and macrophage interaction.

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