, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 135–143 | Cite as

Resistin is expressed in human hepatocytes and induces insulin resistance

  • Chun Hua Sheng
  • Jun Di
  • Yong Jin
  • Yu Cheng Zhang
  • Mei Wu
  • Ying Sun
  • Gui Zhen Zhang
Original Paper


Resistin, known as an adipocyte-specific secretory factor (ADSF), is implicated to modulate insulin resistance in rodents. However, the precise role of this factor for human insulin resistance has remained elusive. Here, we investigate the relationship between human resistin and insulin resistance in hepatocytes and the effect of Metformin on resistin. In this study, the expression of resistin in human hepatocytes and hepatic tissues was examined, and the human resistin eukaryotic expression vector was constructed and stably transfected in HepG2 cells. Data showed that resistin is expressed in human hepatocytes and hepatic tissues. Overexpression of human resistin impaired significantly insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in HepG2 cells. It also decreased the expression of insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS-2) and c-cbl associated protein (CAP), whereas increased the expression of glycogen synthetase kinase 3β (GSK-3β). The result suggested that human resistin induced insulin resistance in hepatocytes by blocking the two insulin signal transduction pathways of PI-3K/Akt and of CAP/c-cbl. We also concluded that Metformin reversed the effect of resistin and downregulated the expression of resistin in hepatocytes.


Human resistin HepG2 cells Insulin resistance Insulin signal transduction pathway Metformin 



Thanks to Professor PEI YIN ZHANG (Jilin University) for his great help in assays of glucose uptake. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 39870667) and program for Scientific Research Foundation of Jilin Province (No.20020704).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chun Hua Sheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jun Di
    • 1
  • Yong Jin
    • 2
  • Yu Cheng Zhang
    • 1
  • Mei Wu
    • 1
  • Ying Sun
    • 3
  • Gui Zhen Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Central Research, The Third Clinical CollegeJilin UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Department of Endocrin of 208 HospitalChangchunChina
  3. 3.King’s College London, Division of Asthma, Allergy Lung BiologyMRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of AsthmaLondonUK

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