Human Resistin Stimulates Hepatic Overproduction of Atherogenic ApoB-Containing Lipoprotein Particles by Enhancing ApoB Stability and Impairing Intracellular Insulin Signaling
Rationale: Obese individuals are at high risk for developing atherosclerosis primarily attributable to elevated plasma concentrations of apolipoprotein (apo)B-containing particles, including very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). Plasma levels of the adipose tissue adipokine resistin are increased in human obesity, and resistin expression is positively correlated with coronary atherosclerosis and VLDL levels.
Objective: We sought to determine for the first time whether resistin directly stimulates human hepatocyte production of apoB-containing particles and to elucidate the mechanisms responsible.
Methods and Results: Treatment of human hepatocytes with resistin at levels observed in human obesity stimulated apoB secretion up to 10-fold, because of increased microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) activity and decreased expression/phosphorylation of proteins in the insulin signaling pathways (insulin receptor substrate-2, Akt, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase). Resistin also increased hepatocyte lipid content by stimulating de novo lipogenesis via the SREBP1 and SREBP2 pathways. Furthermore, obese serum with elevated resistin levels induced greater hepatocyte stimulation of apoB secretion than lean human serum, an effect that was ameliorated by antibody immunoprecipitation removal of serum resistin.
Conclusions: Resistin has a direct deleterious impact on human hepatic lipid and lipoprotein regulation. Resistin greatly increased hepatocyte VLDL apoB and lipid secretion because of MTP activation and induction of hepatocyte insulin resistance. Conversely, antibody removal of serum resistin ameliorated human serum stimulation of apoB secretion. Increased hepatic cellular lipids mediated by resistin reflects the fatty liver/steatosis observed with elevated resistin in humans. Thus, human resistin is a novel therapeutic target for mitigating common hepatic pathophysiological processes associated with human obesity, dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis.
- Received December 9, 2010.
- Revision received January 20, 2011.
- Accepted January 24, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.