Adiponectin is partially associated with exosomes in mouse serum

Worrawalan Phoonsawat, Ayako Aoki-Yoshida, Takeshi Tsuruta, Kei Sonoyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Exosomes are membrane vesicles 30-120 nm in diameter that are released by many cell types and carry a cargo of proteins, lipids, mRNA, and microRNA. Cultured adipocytes reportedly release exosomes that may play a role in cell-to-cell communication during the development of metabolic diseases. However, the characteristics and function of exosomes released from adipocytes in vivo remain to be elucidated. Clearly, adipocyte-derived exosomes could exist in the circulation and may be associated with adipocyte-specific proteins such as adipocytokines. We isolated exosomes from serum of mice by differential centrifugation and analyzed adiponectin, leptin, and resistin in the exosome fraction. Western blotting detected adiponectin but no leptin and only trace amounts of resistin in the exosome fraction. The adiponectin signal in the exosome fraction was decreased by proteinase K treatment and completely quenched by a combination of proteinase K and Triton X-100. Quantitative ELISA showed that the exosome fraction contains considerable amounts of adiponectin, but not leptin or resistin. The concentration of adiponectin in the serum and the ratio of adiponectin to total protein in the exosome fraction were lower in obese mice than in lean mice. These results suggest that a portion of adiponectin exists as a transmembrane protein in the exosomes in mouse serum. We propose adiponectin as a marker of exosomes released from adipocytes in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-266
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 6 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adiponectin
  • Exosome
  • Leptin
  • Mice
  • Resistin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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