Inflammation may modulate IL-6 and C-reactive protein gene expression in the adipose tissue: The role of IL-6 cell membrane receptor

Bruno Memoli, Alfredo Procino, Paolo Calabrò, Pasquale Esposito, Giuseppe Grandaliano, Giovanni Pertosa, Marco Del Prete, Michele Andreucci, Saverio Di Lillo, Giuseppe Ferulano, Clemente Cillo, Silvia Savastano, Annamaria Colao, Brunella Guida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Only few studies have been addressed to the presence and regulation of C-reactive protein (CRP) gene expression in different districts of adipose tissue, and no study has investigated the role of adipose tissue in presence of inflammation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the inflammatory involvement of either adipose tissue or adipose cells (adipocytes and stromal cells, respectively) in patients with chronic inflammatory disease, focusing on regional adipose tissue CRP gene expression. Eighteen patients with inflammatory disease and 14 healthy controls were enrolled. All subjects underwent specific surgical procedures. Inflamed and noninflamed patients provided samples of subcutaneous and/or omental adipose tissue. All samples were analyzed by RT-PCR and real-time PCR for specific gene expression. In addition, both adipocytes and stromal cells were studied by real-time PCR and immunoprecipitation to evaluate either gene or protein expression of CRP. Our results (real-time PCR) demonstrated a higher gene expression of CRP, IL-6, and both IL-6 membrane receptors in subcutaneous samples of inflamed patients than in healthy controls. Furthermore, in omental fragments of inflamed patients, an enhanced mRNA abundance of the same genes, compared with subcutaneous, was observed. The results obtained at cellular level did not provide evidence of any difference between adipocytes and stromal cell CRP gene expression, whereas immunoprecipitation demonstrated the presence of CRP in inflamed subjects. These results provide first-time evidence of the involvement of adipose tissue in the course of chronic inflammatory diseases, with a different degree of participation of the different adipose tissue districts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-6 receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry


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