Involvement of adiponectin in early stage of colorectal carcinogenesis

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Background: Although altered levels of adiponectin have been reported as a potential risk factor in colorectal cancer (CRC), the importance of the role played by adiponectin in colorectal carcinogenesis has not been established. We sought to examine the expression pattern of adiponectin and adiponectin receptors (AdipoRs) in the normal-adenoma-carcinoma sequence and to assess the implications of adiponectin in colorectal carcinogenesis. Methods: Serum adiponectin concentrations, and the mRNA and protein expression of adiponectin and AdipoRs were examined using serum and tissues from patients with CRC, advanced adenoma, and a normal colon. mRNA expression of AdipoRs and epithelial-mesenchymal transition regulators including E-cadherin, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and T-cadherin were examined in HCT116 cells treated with adiponectin. Results: Serum adiponectin concentrations in patients with advanced adenoma and CRC were lower than those in controls. Adiponectin mRNA was not detected in colonic tissue, whereas AdipoRs mRNA was lower in advanced adenoma and CRC than that in normal colon tissues. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that adiponectin was expressed in spindle-shaped cells of the subepithelial layer in normal colon tissues, whereas ill-defined overexpression of adiponectin was seen in the stroma of advanced adenoma and CRC tissues. AdipoRs expression was strong in normal epithelium, but weak to negative in the epithelia of CRC tissues. Adiponectin downregulated COX-2 mRNA expression in vitro, but upregulated T-cadherin in HCT116 cells. Conclusions: Systemic adiponectin and local AdipoRs expression in the colon may be associated with anti-tumorigenesis during the early stages of CRC. These findings offer new insight into understanding the relationship between adiponectin and colorectal carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number811
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Tae et al.


  • Adiponectin
  • Adiponectin receptors
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Colorectal cancer


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