The adipose tissue is the site of expression and secretion of a range of biologically active proteins, called adipokines, for example, leptin, adiponectin, and resistin. Leptin has previously been shown to be expressed in osteoblasts and to promote bone mineralization, whereas adiponectin expression is enhanced during osteoblast differentiation. In the present study we explored the possible role of resistin in bone metabolism. We found that resistin is expressed in murine preosteoclasts and preosteoblasts (RAW 264.7, MC3T3-E1), in primary human bone marrow stem cells and in mature human osteoblasts. The expression of resistin mRNA in RAW 264.7 was increased during differentiation and seemed to be regulated through PKC- and PKA-dependent mechanisms. Recombinant resistin increased the number of differentiated osteoclasts and stimulated NFκB promoter activity, indicating a role in osteoclastogenesis. Resistin also enhanced the proliferation of MC3T3-E1 cells in a PKA and PKC-dependent manner, but only weakly interfered with genes known to be upregulated during differentiation of MC3T3-E1 into osteoblasts. All together, our results indicate that resistin may play a role in bone remodeling. J. Cell. Biochem. 99: 824–834, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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