The aim of this study was to search for novel markers of visceral adiposity.


Visceral (omental) and subcutaneous adipose tissues were obtained from 43 Japanese men. Microarray analysis using total RNA from visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissues obtained from five men with abdominal obesity and five nonobese men was first conducted. Then the expression pattern of candidate genes identified in the human study in mouse models of adiposity was examined.


Among 30,500 genes evaluated, the mRNA expression of CCDC3 (encoding coiled-coil domain-containing protein 3) was upregulated in omental adipose tissues from abdominally obese subjects (3.07-fold) but not in subcutaneous adipose tissues (0.89-fold). Similar expression patterns were found in two distinct mouse models of obesity. In the analysis of all 43 men, CCDC3 mRNA levels in omental, but not in subcutaneous adipose tissue, were positively correlated with waist circumference and body mass index. CCDC3 was predicted to be a secretory protein, which was confirmed by western blotting, as overexpressed CCDC3 was secreted into the culture media.


The expression of CCDC3 is specifically increased in visceral adipose tissues in abdominally obese subjects. These results suggest that CCDC3 is a potential biomarker for estimating visceral adiposity.