Resistin, an adipose-derived polypeptide hormone, is proposed as a candidate of insulin resistance, although its roles in inhibiting adipogenesis and in inflammation have also been suggested. Liver cirrhosis is characterized by elevated circulating proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. The study aimed to examine resistin expression and its association with insulin and TNF-α in a cirrhotic rat model using bile duct ligation (BDL). The BDL-induced cirrhotic rats showed significantly lower fat mass, insulin sensitivity and elevated plasma insulin and TNF-α compared to sham animals. In addition, epididymal TNF-α and resistin mRNA and protein levels were higher in cirrhotic rats. In normal control rats, in vivo insulin infusion and ex vivo administration of TNF-α to cultured fat pads increased resistin gene expression significantly. These results implied that hyperinsulinemia and increased TNF-α levels might upregulate adipose resistin gene in BDL-induced liver cirrhosis. Further study is necessary to document the role of resistin in metabolic abnormalities of liver cirrhosis. © 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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