Obesity and its associated disorders are increasing in companion animals, particularly in dogs. We have investigated whether genes encoding key adipokines, some of which are implicated in the pathologies linked to obesity, are expressed in canine adipose tissues. Using RT-PCR, mRNAs encoding the following adipokines were detected in dog white adipose tissue: adiponectin, leptin, angiotensinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, IL-6, haptoglobin, metallothionein-1 and 2, and nerve growth factor. The adipokine mRNAs were present in all fat depots examined. Fractionation of adipose tissue by collagenase digestion showed that each gene was expressed in mature adipocytes. The mRNA for TNFalpha was not evident in adipose tissue, but was detected in isolated adipocytes. Fibroblastic preadipocytes from gonadal white fat were differentiated into adipocytes in primary culture and adipokine expression examined before and after differentiation (days 0 and 11, respectively). Each adipokine gene expressed in dog white adipocytes was also expressed in the differentiated cells. These results demonstrate that dog white adipose tissue expresses major adipokine genes, expression being in the adipocytes. Investigation of adipokine production and function will provide insight into the mechanisms involved in obesity-related pathologies in dogs and serve as a model for the related human diseases.
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