Adiponectin is a salutary adipokine and hypoadiponectinemia is implicated in the aetiology of obesity-related inflammation and cardiometabolic disease making therapeutic strategies to increase adiponectin attractive. Emerging evidence, predominantly from preclinical studies, suggests induction of heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1) increases adiponectin production and reduces inflammatory tone. Here, we aimed to test whether induction of HO-1 enhanced adiponectin production from mature adipocytes. Treatment of human adipocytes with cobalt protoporphyrin (CoPP) or hemin for 24-48 h increased HO-1 expression and activity without affecting adiponectin expression and secretion. Treatment of adipocytes with TNFα reduced adiponectin secretion and increased expression and secretion of additional pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-6 and MCP-1, as well as expression of sXBP-1, a marker of ER stress. HO-1 induction failed to reverse these effects. These results demonstrate that induction of HO-1 does not directly enhance adiponectin production or ameliorate the pro-inflammatory effects of TNFα and argue against a direct HO-1 - adiponectin axis.
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