Exp Mol Med.  2014 Jan;46(1):e72. 10.1038/emm.2013.141.

The role of adiponectin in the production of IL-6, IL-8, VEGF and MMPs in human endothelial cells and osteoblasts: implications for arthritic joints

  • 1East-West Bone and Joint Research Institute, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. labrea46@naver.com
  • 2Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University Medical School, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


This study was performed to evaluate the contribution of adiponectin to the production of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-13 in human endothelial cells and osteoblasts in arthritic joints. Cultured human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) and osteoblasts were stimulated with adiponectin (1 or 10 mug ml-1) or IL-1beta (0.1 ng ml-1) in the presence or absence of hypoxia for 24 h. The protein expression patterns were examined by analyzing culture supernatants using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Adiponectin significantly stimulated the production of VEGF, MMP-1 and MMP-13 in osteoblasts but not in endothelial cells, whereas it significantly stimulated the production of IL-6 and IL-8 in both endothelial cells and osteoblasts. The increase in VEGF production induced by adiponectin was significantly greater than that induced by IL-1beta. The production of IL-6 and IL-8 in adiponectin-stimulated endothelial cells was approximately 10-fold higher than that in IL-1beta-stimulated endothelial cells; in osteoblasts, adiponectin-induced IL-6 and IL-8 secretion was approximately twofold higher than that induced by IL-1beta. In addition, IL-8 production in endothelial cells was approximately sevenfold higher than in osteoblasts. However, IL-6 levels were similar between the two cell types, suggesting that adiponectin may be involved in the production of IL-8 in endothelial cells, which may have an important role in neutrophil recruitment to arthritic joints. Furthermore, the increases in protein expression induced by adiponectin were differentially regulated by hypoxia. In conclusion, adiponectin has a more important role than does IL-1beta in the production of mediators that drive synovitis and joint destruction in endothelial cells and osteoblasts at physiological concentrations.


adiponectin; cytokines and inflammatory mediators; endothelium; osteoblast; rheumatoid arthritis

MeSH Terms

Arthritis, Rheumatoid/metabolism
Cell Hypoxia
Cell Line
Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/drug effects/*metabolism
Matrix Metalloproteinase 1/genetics/*metabolism
Osteoblasts/drug effects/*metabolism
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/genetics/*metabolism
Matrix Metalloproteinase 1
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
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