Adiponectin translation is increased by the PPARγ agonists pioglitazone and ω-3 fatty acids

Anannya Banga, Resat Unal, Preeti Tripathi, Irina Pokrovskaya, Randall J. Owens, Philip A. Kern, Gouri Ranganathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Adiponectin, made exclusively by adipocytes, is a 30-kDa secretory protein assembled posttranslationally into low-molecular weight, middle-molecular weight, and high-molecular weight homo-oligomers. PPARγ ligand thiozolidinediones, which are widely used in the treatment of type II diabetes, increase adiponectin levels. PPARγ also has several putative ligands that include fatty acid derivatives. Overnight treatment of rat adipocytes with pioglitazone, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) triggered a twofold increase in the synthesis and secretion of HMW adiponectin, and this increase was blocked by the addition of PPARγ inhibitor GW-9662. Inhibition of glycosylation using 2,2′-dipyridyl decreased the synthesis of high-molecular weight adiponectin by pioglitazone, EPA, and DHA, but there was increased secretion of trimeric adiponectin resulting from increased translation. Although pioglitazone, DHA, and EPA increased adiponectin synthesis by more than 60%, there was no increase in total protein synthesis and no corresponding change in adiponectin mRNA expression, indicating the upregulation of translation. We examined the possibility of transacting factors in the cytoplasmic extracts from adipocytes treated with pioglitazone or DHA. In vitro translation of adiponectin mRNA was inhibited by S-100 fraction of control adipocytes and increased by S-100 extracts from adipocytes treated with pioglitazone or DHA. Consistent with this observation, both pioglitazone and DHA treatments increased the association of adiponectin mRNA with the heavier polysome fractions. Together, these data suggest that pioglitazone and the fish oils DHA or EPA are PPARγ agonists in adipocytes with regard to adiponectin expression, and the predominant mode of adiponectin stimulation is via an increase in translation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E480-E489
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Adipocyte biology
  • Fish oils
  • Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ
  • Ribonucleic acid-binding proteins
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Translational regulation


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