Adiponectin and leptin exert antagonizing effects on proliferation and motility of papillary thyroid cancer cell lines

Ersilia Nigro, Francesca Maria Orlandella, Rita Polito, Raffaela Mariarosaria Mariniello, Maria Ludovica Monaco, Marta Mallardo, Anna Elisa De Stefano, Paola Lucia Chiara Iervolino, Giuliana Salvatore, Aurora Daniele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adiponectin (Acrp30) and leptin, adipokines produced and secreted mainly by the adipose tissue, are involved in human carcinogenesis. Thyroid carcinomas are frequent endocrine cancers, and several evidences suggest that they are correlated with obesity. In this study, we first analyzed the expression levels and prognostic values of Acrp30, leptin, and their receptors in thyroid cancer cells. Then, we investigated the role of Acrp30 and leptin in proliferation, migration, and invasion. We found that Acrp30 treatment alone inhibits cell proliferation and cell viability in a time and dose-dependent manner; leptin alone does not influence thyroid cancer cells (BCPAP and K1) proliferation, but the combined treatment reverts Acrp30-induced effects on cell proliferation. Additionally, through wound healing and Matrigel Matrix invasion assays, we unveiled that Acrp30 inhibits thyroid cancer cell motility, while leptin induces the opposite effect. Importantly, in the combined treatment, Acrp30 and leptin exert antagonizing effects on papillary thyroid cancer cells’ migration and invasion in both BCPAP and K1 cell lines. Highlights of these studies suggest that Acrp30 and leptin could represent therapeutic targets and biomarkers for the management of thyroid cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Adiponectin
  • Leptin
  • Motility
  • Proliferation
  • Thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry


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