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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Retinoids and retinoid-binding protein expression in rat adipocytes.

Adipose tissue has been reported to contain relatively high levels of the specific mRNA for retinol-binding protein ( RBP) (Makover A., Soprano, D.R., Wyatt, M. L., and Goodman, D.S. (1989) J. Lipid Res. 30, 171-180). Studies were conducted to explore retinoid and retinoid-binding protein storage and metabolism in adipose tissue. In these studies, we measured RBP and cellular retinol-binding protein (CRBP) mRNA levels and retinoid levels in 6 adipose depots in male rats. Total RNA was isolated from inguinal, dorsal, mesenteric, epididymal, perinephric, and brown adipose tissue, and average RBP and CRBP mRNA levels were determined by Northern blot analysis. The relative levels of RBP mRNA in these 6 anatomically different adipose depots averaged, respectively, 6.3, 6.7, 16, 34, 37, and 21% of the level in a rat liver RNA standard. Retinoid levels in the 6 depots were similar and averaged approximately 6-7 micrograms of retinol eq/g of adipose tissue. Since adipose tissue contains several cell types, the cellular localizations of RBP and CRBP expression and retinoid storage were examined. RNA was prepared from isolated rat adipocytes and stromal-vascular cells. Cellular levels of the mRNAs for RBP, CRBP, apolipoprotein E (apoE), lipoprotein lipase, adipocyte P2, and adipsin were measured by Northern blot analysis. RBP was expressed almost exclusively in the adipocytes and only weakly in the stromal-vascular cells. Both CRBP and apoE mRNA levels were relatively high in the stromal-vascular cell preparations and only very low mRNA levels were found in the adipocytes. Lipoprotein lipase, adipsin, and adipocyte P2 mRNAs were found in substantial levels in both the adipocytes and stromal-vascular cells, but with higher levels present in the adipocytes. Cultured adipocytes synthesized RBP protein and secreted it into the medium. Only adipocytes (not stromal-vascular cells) contained retinol, at levels between 0.65-0.8 micrograms of retinol eq/10(6) cells. These studies demonstrate that adipocytes store retinoid and synthesize and secrete RBP, and suggest that rat adipocytes may be dynamically involved in retinoid storage and metabolism.[1]


  1. Retinoids and retinoid-binding protein expression in rat adipocytes. Tsutsumi, C., Okuno, M., Tannous, L., Piantedosi, R., Allan, M., Goodman, D.S., Blaner, W.S. J. Biol. Chem. (1992) [Pubmed]
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