Background: Adiponectin is an adipose tissue-derived secretory hormone whose plasma concentrations are lower in obese individuals. Obesity is a risk factor for the development and growth of pancreatic cancer, and hypoadiponectinemia was suggested to be involved in the growth of Pan02 murine pancreatic cancer cells that were inoculated into the flanks of congenitally obese mice. Aim: The aim of this study was to clarify the role of adiponectin in the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. Methods: We examined the effect of adiponectin on the growth of Pan02 cells using recombinant adiponectin and adiponectin knockout mice. Results: The in vitro treatment of Pan02 cells with adiponectin inhibited cellular proliferation that was accompanied by increased apoptosis and caspase-3 and caspase-7 activities. Transplantation of Pan02 cells into the pancreas of knockout mice resulted in a larger tumor volume with fewer terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) positive cells compared with wild-type mice. Conclusions: The results indicate that adiponectin directly suppresses the proliferation of Pan02 cells.
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