Document Type


Publication Date

June 2007


This article has been peer reviewed. It was originally published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation 117(6):1718-1726, June 2007, available at Copyright by the American Society for Clinical Investigation.


This study reports on what we believe are novel mechanism(s) of the vascular protective action of adiponectin. We used intravital microscopy to measure leukocyte-endothelium interactions in adiponectin-deficient (Ad–/–) mice and found that adiponectin deficiency was associated with a 2-fold increase in leukocyte rolling and a 5-fold increase in leukocyte adhesion in the microcirculation. Measurement of endothelial NO (eNO) revealed that adiponectin deficiency drastically reduced levels of eNO in the vascular wall. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated increased expression of E-selectin and VCAM-1 in the vascular endothelium of Ad–/– mice. Systemic administration of the recombinant globular adiponectin domain (gAd) to Ad–/– mice significantly attenuated leukocyte-endothelium interactions and adhesion molecule expression in addition to restoring physiologic levels of eNO. Importantly, prior administration of gAd also protected WT mice against TNF-α–induced leukocyte-endothelium interactions, indicating a pharmacologic action of gAd. Mechanistically, blockade of eNOS with Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) abolished the inhibitory effect of gAd on leukocyte adhesion, demonstrating the obligatory role of eNOS signaling in the antiinflammatory action of gAd. We believe this is the first demonstration that gAd protects the vasculature in vivo via increased NO bioavailability with suppression of leukocyte-endothelium interactions. Overall, we provide evidence that loss of adiponectin induces a primary state of endothelial dysfunction with increased leukocyte-endothelium adhesiveness.