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Genistein induces adipogenesis but inhibits leptin induction in human synovial fibroblasts.

Relic B, Zeddou M, Desoroux A, Beguin Y, de Seny D, Malaise MG

It was shown recently that synovial fibroblast transformation into adipocytes reduced the expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-8. However, the synovial fibroblast adipogenesis was inhibited in inflammatory conditions induced by the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Furthermore, adipogenesis is often accompanied by leptin production, a proinflammatory adipokine in rheumatic diseases. In this study, we tested the phytohormone genistein for adipogenic and anti-inflammatory properties on human synovial fibroblasts. Results showed that genistein was able to transform synovial fibroblasts into adipocytes that expressed perilipin-A and produced adiponectin, but not leptin. Furthermore, genistein enhanced glucocorticoid-mediated synovial fibroblast adipogenesis and, in parallel, downregulated glucocorticoid-induced leptin and leptin receptor. Endogenous and TNF-alpha-induced expressions of IL-6, IL-8, p38, p65 and C/EBP-beta were also downregulated by genistein, showing its anti-inflammatory properties. Peroxisome proliferator- activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) agonist, rosiglitazone, had a synergic effect on genistein-induced adipogenesis, whereas the non-active tyrosine kinase inhibitor, daidzein, had a significantly inferior adipogenic activity than genistein. The Janus kinase-2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor, AG 490, mimicked the anti-leptin effect of genistein. These results showed that genistein-induced adipogenesis involves PPAR-gamma induction and tyrosine kinase inhibition. In conclusion, genistein, alone or coupled with glucocorticoids, have both adipogenic and anti-inflammatory effects on synovial fibroblasts.

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July, 2009



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