Some cytokines and mediators of inflammation can alter adiposity through their effects on adipocyte number. To probe the molecular basis of obesity, this study determined whether galectin-3 was present in adipose tissue and investigated its effects on fat cell number.
RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES:
In the first study, obesity-prone C57BL/6J mice were fed with high-fat (58%) diet. Epididymal fat pads were collected at Day 0, Day 60, and Day 120 after the start of high-fat feeding.
Levels of adipocyte galectin-3 protein, determined using Western blot analysis, increased as the mice became obese. Galectin-3 mRNA and protein were then detected in human adipose tissue, primarily in the preadipocyte fraction. It was found that recombinant human galectin-3 stimulated proliferation of primary cultured preadipocytes as well as DNA synthesis through lectin-carbohydrate interaction.
Galectin-3, which has been known to play a versatile role especially in immune cells, might play a role also in adipose tissue and be associated with the pathophysiology of obesity.
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