2005 Volume 52 Issue 4 Pages 427-433
Decreased circulating levels of adiponectin, a novel adipose-derived adipocytokine, in obesity possibly contribute to the development of insulin resistance which is a major factor in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. The present study was conducted to examine whether circulating and adipose tissue adiponectin levels are modulated by chronic treatment with metformin and intensive treatment with insulin in murine models of obesity and type 2 diabetes, db/db mice with a C57BL/KsJ genetic background. Nine-week-old male db/db mice were treated with metformin, insulin, and vehicle for 4 weeks. Expectedly, metformin treatment led to inhibition of weight gain and improvement of hyperinsulinemia. Insulin treatment lowered fasting blood glucose levels to normal values, although it sustained hyperinsulinemic state. However, after 4 weeks of treatment, serum adiponectin levels were not significantly elevated in either metformin-treated or insulin-treated db/db mouse group (14.2 ± 0.7 and 16.7 ± 1.0 μg/ml, respectively) compared to vehicle-treated group (14.9 ± 0.6 μg/ml). Similarly, adipose tissue adiponectin levels determined by Western blot analysis were not increased in either metformin-treated or insulin-treated group relative to vehicle-treated group. Recent studies have shown that adiponectin possibly has the same physiological effects on lipid and glucose metabolism that metformin has. Therefore, an elevation in blood concentration of metformin following the treatment might lead to suppression in adiponectin synthesis in adipose tissue, independent of inhibition in weight gain and improvement in hyperinsulinemia by metformin treatment. The present results indicate that adiponectin is not involved in the mechanism by which metformin treatment enhances insulin sensitivity. Moreover, our results suggest that adiponectin synthesis in adipose tissue may be suppressed under hyperinsulinemic state sustained by insulin treatment, even though hyperglycemia is markedly reduced. We conclude that antidiabetic treatment with metformin and insulin does not affect circulating and adipose tissue adiponectin levels.