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1.  Resistin in rheumatoid arthritis synovial tissue, synovial fluid and serum 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2006;66(4):458-463.
Background
Resistin is a newly identified adipocytokine which has demonstrated links between obesity and insulin resistance in rodents. In humans, proinflammatory properties of resistin are superior to its insulin resistance‐inducing effects.
Objectives
To assess resistin expression in synovial tissues, serum and synovial fluid from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and spondylarthropathies (SpA), and to study its relationship with inflammatory status and rheumatoid arthritis disease activity.
Methods
Resistin expression and localisation in synovial tissue was determined by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy. Serum and synovial fluid resistin, leptin, interleukin (IL)1β, IL6, IL8, tumour necrosis factor α, and monocyte chemoattractant protein‐1 levels were measured. The clinical activity of patients with rheumatoid arthritis was assessed according to the 28 joint count Disease Activity Score (DAS28).
Results
Resistin was detected in the synovium in both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Staining in the sublining layer was more intensive in patients with rheumatoid arthritis compared with those with osteoarthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis, macrophages (CD68), B lymphocytes (CD20) and plasma cells (CD138) but not T lymphocytes (CD3) showed colocalisation with resistin. Synovial fluid resistin was higher in patients with rheumatoid arthritis than in those with SpA or osteoarthritis (both p<0.001). In patients with rheumatoid arthritis and SpA, serum resistin levels were higher than those with osteoarthritis (p<0.01). Increased serum resistin in patients with rheumatoid arthritis correlated with both CRP (r = 0.53, p<0.02), and DAS28 (r = 0.44, p<0.05), but not with selected (adipo) cytokines.
Conclusion
The upregulated resistin at local sites of inflammation and the link between serum resistin, inflammation and disease activity suggest a role for resistin in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.
doi:10.1136/ard.2006.054734
PMCID: PMC1856051  PMID: 17040961
2.  Efficacy of Antioxidant Treatment in Reducing Resistin Serum Levels: A Randomized Study 
PLoS Clinical Trials  2007;2(5):e17.
Objectives:
Few in vitro studies have examined the participation of resistin, a recently discovered adipokine, in oxidative processes. We investigated whether in vivo treatment with the antioxidant vitamin C might affect resistin serum levels.
Design:
Randomized prospective open trial.
Setting:
San Giovanni Battista Hospital, Turin, Italy.
Participants:
Eighty healthy individuals.
Intervention:
Administration of 2 g of ascorbic acid orally for 2 wk (n = 40; experimental group) or no supplementation (n = 40; control group).
Outcome measures:
The primary end point was the between-group difference in the before–after change in resistin serum level after vitamin C supplementation. Secondary endpoints were the within- and between-group changes in glucose, insulin, lipid parameters, C-reactive protein fasting values, and markers of oxidative stress.
Results:
In the experimental group, vitamin C supplementation was significantly associated with both resistin concentration reduction (from 4.3 ± 1.5 to 2.9 ± 0.8 ng/ml; 95% confidence interval [CI] −1.87, −1.03) and ascorbic acid level increase (from 9.4 ± 2.9 to 19.0 ± 5.2 mg/l; 95% CI 7.9, 11.2). In the control group, resistin levels did not change significantly (from 4.2 ± 1.0 to 4.3 ± 0.9 ng/ml; 95% CI −0.07, 0.37). The between-group differences were highly significant (p < 0.001). Vitamin C supplementation was also associated with a statistically significant reduction in nitrotyrosine level and incremental increase in reduced glutathione. In a linear regression model, within-individual changes in vitamin C concentrations were inversely correlated with changes in resistin levels in both groups (each unit increase of vitamin C corresponded to a decrease of about 0.10 units of resistin levels (95% CI 0.13, 0.08; p < 0.001).
Conclusion:
This is to our knowledge the first randomized trial in humans that has demonstrated that short-term vitamin C supplementation could significantly reduce resistin levels, independent of changes in inflammatory or metabolic variables. Future investigations of resistin participation in oxidative processes are warranted.
Editorial Commentary
Background: Resistin is a hormone that is produced by fat cells. Much of the work on resistin has been done in mice, and as a result of this research the hormone was thought to explain the link between obesity and development of diabetes. In obese mice, higher levels of resistin are seen, and this hormone seems to interfere with the normal role of insulin in reducing blood sugar levels. However, the exact biochemical pathways in mice and humans seem to be very different, and it is not obvious whether resistin plays the same role in the development of diabetes in humans as it does in mice. At the same time, some researchers have suggested links between resistin and oxidative stress, which is thought to be involved in the development of certain diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease. The researchers here wanted to more fully explore these links by finding out whether an antioxidant, vitamin C, affected levels of resistin in blood. The researchers carried out a trial in healthy human participants, who were randomized to receive 2 g of vitamin C daily for two weeks, or no treatment. The primary outcome of the trial was the change in resistin levels in blood, and the researchers also looked at the levels of other biochemical variables in blood, such as fasting glucose, insulin, cholesterol, fatty acids, and nitrotyrosine.
What the trial shows: The researchers recruited 80 participants into the trial, and 40 were randomized to receive 2 g of vitamin C supplementation for two weeks. Forty individuals acted as “controls” and received no intervention over the two weeks of the trial. Outcomes were assessed for all but two individuals in the control group. Overall, levels of resistin in blood fell substantially over the course of the trial among the individuals in the vitamin C supplementation group, but not in the control arm of the trial, and this difference between groups was statistically significant. The levels of many other biochemical markers in blood, such as glucose, cholesterol, fatty acids, and insulin, did not show statistically significant changes between the randomized groups. However, levels of two markers of oxidative stress did change: levels of nitrotyrosine, which is associated with cell damage and inflammation, seemed to drop in the vitamin C group relative to the control group, and levels of reduced glutathione (an antioxidant) seemed to increase in the vitamin C group relative to the control group.
Strengths and limitations: In this trial, all individuals were randomized at once to the two study groups. While this is unconventional (normally, participants are randomized one by one, as they are screened and deemed eligible for a study), the process would be likely to prevent bias in allocation of individuals to the study groups. Although participants were not blinded to which study group they were assigned to, the laboratory staff measuring biochemical marker levels in blood were blinded to the study groups. A key limitation of this study is that the participants in the control arm did not receive placebo tablets, but rather received no treatment. A placebo control group would have enabled the researchers to blind participants as to whether they received vitamin C or no active intervention. Participants' knowledge of their group assignment (e.g., to receive vitamin C or no intervention) may have affected their response in the trial. Finally, the trial was conducted on a small group of healthy individuals, and no clinical outcomes were examined. Therefore, although the findings are intriguing, their clinical meaning is not clear.
Contribution to the evidence: There are few other studies that have been carried out in humans examining the possibility of a link between resistin levels and oxidative stress. This study suggests that vitamin C administration reduces blood levels of resistin in humans. This finding does not yet clearly point to a specific role for resistin in disease processes or human disease, but raises questions for further study.
doi:10.1371/journal.pctr.0020017
PMCID: PMC1865087  PMID: 17479165
3.  Serum resistin levels in critically ill patients are associated with inflammation, organ dysfunction and metabolism and may predict survival of non-septic patients 
Critical Care  2009;13(3):R95.
Introduction
Blood glucose levels and insulin resistance in critically ill patients on admission to intensive care units (ICUs) have been identified as factors influencing mortality. The pathogenesis of insulin resistance (IR) in critically ill patients is complex and not fully understood. Resistin is a hormone mainly derived from macrophages in humans and from adipose tissue in rodents, which regulates glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. In non-critically ill patients, resistin was found to be related to impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, resistin might represent a link between inflammation, acute phase response and insulin resistance in critically ill patients. We aimed to examine the correlation of serum resistin concentrations to parameters of inflammation, organ function, metabolism, disease severity and survival in critically ill patients.
Methods
On admission to the Medical ICU, 170 patients (122 with sepsis, 48 without sepsis) were studied prospectively and compared with 60 healthy non-diabetic controls. Clinical data, various laboratory parameters, metabolic and endocrine functions as well as investigational inflammatory cytokine profiles were assessed. Patients were followed for approximately three years.
Results
Resistin serum concentrations were significantly elevated in all critical care patients compared with healthy controls, and significantly higher in sepsis than in non-sepsis patients. Serum resistin concentrations were not associated with pre-existing type 2 diabetes or obesity. For all critically ill patients, a correlation to the homeostasis model assessment index of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was shown. Serum resistin concentrations were closely correlated to inflammatory parameters such as C-reactive protein, leukocytes, procalcitonin, and cytokines such as IL6 and TNF-α, as well as associated with renal failure and liver synthesis capacity. High resistin levels (> 10 ng/ml) were associated with an unfavourable outcome in non-sepsis patients on ICU and the overall survival.
Conclusions
Serum resistin concentrations are elevated in acute inflammation due to sepsis or systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). The close correlation with other acute phase proteins suggests a predominant, clinically relevant resistin release from macrophages in ICU patients. Moreover, resistin could potentially serve as a prognostic biomarker in non-sepsis critically ill patients.
doi:10.1186/cc7925
PMCID: PMC2717467  PMID: 19545363
4.  Macrophage-Derived Human Resistin Is Induced in Multiple Helminth Infections and Promotes Inflammatory Monocytes and Increased Parasite Burden 
PLoS Pathogens  2015;11(1):e1004579.
Parasitic helminth infections can be associated with lifelong morbidity such as immune-mediated organ failure. A better understanding of the host immune response to helminths could provide new avenues to promote parasite clearance and/or alleviate infection-associated morbidity. Murine resistin-like molecules (RELM) exhibit pleiotropic functions following helminth infection including modulating the host immune response; however, the relevance of human RELM proteins in helminth infection is unknown. To examine the function of human resistin (hResistin), we utilized transgenic mice expressing the human resistin gene (hRetnTg+). Following infection with the helminth Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (Nb), hResistin expression was significantly upregulated in infected tissue. Compared to control hRetnTg− mice, hRetnTg+ mice suffered from exacerbated Nb-induced inflammation characterized by weight loss and increased infiltration of inflammatory monocytes in the lung, along with elevated Nb egg burdens and delayed parasite expulsion. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling of the infected tissue revealed that hResistin promoted expression of proinflammatory cytokines and genes downstream of toll-like receptor signaling. Moreover, hResistin preferentially bound lung monocytes, and exogenous treatment of mice with recombinant hResistin promoted monocyte recruitment and proinflammatory cytokine expression. In human studies, increased serum resistin was associated with higher parasite load in individuals infected with soil-transmitted helminths or filarial nematode Wuchereria bancrofti, and was positively correlated with proinflammatory cytokines. Together, these studies identify human resistin as a detrimental factor induced by multiple helminth infections, where it promotes proinflammatory cytokines and impedes parasite clearance. Targeting the resistin/proinflammatory cytokine immune axis may provide new diagnostic or treatment strategies for helminth infection and associated immune-mediated pathology.
Author Summary
Parasitic helminths, which infect an estimated two billion people worldwide, represent a significant global public health problem. Infection is associated with life-long morbidity including growth retardation and organ failure. Despite these debilitating conditions, there are currently no successful vaccines against helminths. Further, great variability in the host immune response to helminths exists, with the ability of some individuals to develop immunity, while others are susceptible when re-exposed or maintain life-long chronic infections. Identifying new factors that are differentially expressed in immune versus susceptible individuals could provide new targeting strategies for diagnosis or treatment of helminth infection. Here, we identify an important immunoregulatory function for human resistin in helminth infection. Employing transgenic mice in which the human resistin gene was inserted, we show that human resistin is induced by infection with the helminth Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, where it promotes excessive inflammation and impedes parasite killing. Moreover, analysis of clinical samples from two cohorts of individuals infected with filarial nematodes or soil-transmitted helminths revealed increased resistin and serum proinflammatory cytokines compared to putatively immune individuals. Together, these studies suggest that human resistin is a detrimental cytokine that is expressed in multiple helminth infections, mediates pathogenic inflammation, and delays parasite clearance.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004579
PMCID: PMC4287580  PMID: 25568944
5.  The relationship between hepatic resistin overexpression and inflammation in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis 
BMC Gastroenterology  2014;14:39.
Background
The relationship between resistin and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is not clear, some studies claimed that serum resistin levels were associated with neither the presence of NASH nor its severity, others declared that serum resistin was related with inflammation and fibrosis in NASH. Our animal study verified that the distribution of resistin in the liver is correlated with inflammation in NASH. However, there is no pertinent study in humans.
Methods
Thirty patients with NASH, 28 simple steatosis, and 43 controls were recruited. Blood was collected for resistin, liver chemistries, fasting insulin and some metabolic parameters. Liver histology was scored according to NAFLD activity scoring system. Hepatic resistin expression was examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry. Resistin protein expression was confirmed by western blotting in 13 patients with concomitant NAFLD and gallstone.
Results
Serum resistin was significantly elevated in both NASH and simple steatotic subjects compared with controls (all P < 0.05). Hepatic resistin was significantly increased in NASH patients in both mRNA and protein levels than those in simple steatosis and control subjects (all P < 0.05). Both serum and hepatic resistin had a correlation with obesity, but not with insulin resistance. The distribution of resistin positive cells was predominantly in perisinusoidal cells (such as Kupffer cells and hepatic stellate cells) in human NASH. Multivariate analysis revealed that waist-hip ratio, higher serum triglyceride, and hyperresistinemia were independent factors related to higher grade of steatosis; whereas hepatic resistin and serum cytokeratin predict NASH and severity of liver fibrosis.
Conclusions
Hepatic resistin overexpression in NASH patients is associated with the severity of liver inflammation and fibrosis. Liver-derived resistin may be involved in the pathogenesis of human NASH.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-14-39
PMCID: PMC3942781  PMID: 24559185
Resistin; Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Inflammation; Adipokine
6.  Inflammatory Induction of Human Resistin Causes Insulin Resistance in Endotoxemic Mice 
Diabetes  2011;60(3):775-783.
OBJECTIVE
Although adipocyte-derived murine resistin links insulin resistance to obesity, the role of human resistin, predominantly expressed in mononuclear cells and induced by inflammatory signals, remains unclear. Given the mounting evidence that obesity and type 2 diabetes are inflammatory diseases, we sought to determine the relationship between inflammatory increases in human resistin and insulin resistance.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
To investigate the role of human resistin on glucose homeostasis in inflammatory states, we generated mice lacking murine resistin but transgenic for a bacterial artificial chromosome containing human resistin (BAC-Retn), whose expression was similar to that in humans. The metabolic and molecular phenotypes of BAC-Retn mice were assessed after acute and chronic endotoxemia (i.e., exposure to inflammatory lipopolysaccharide).
RESULTS
We found that BAC-Retn mice have circulating resistin levels within the normal human range, and similar to humans, lipopolysaccharide markedly increased serum resistin levels. Acute endotoxemia caused hypoglycemia in mice lacking murine resistin, and this was attenuated in BAC-Retn mice. In addition, BAC-Retn mice developed severe hepatic insulin resistance under chronic endotoxemia, accompanied by increased inflammatory responses in liver and skeletal muscle.
CONCLUSIONS
These results strongly support the role of human resistin in the development of insulin resistance in inflammation. Thus, human resistin may link insulin resistance to inflammatory diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerosis.
doi:10.2337/db10-1416
PMCID: PMC3046838  PMID: 21282361
7.  Resistin is not an appropriate biochemical marker to predict severity of acute pancreatitis: A case-controlled study 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(41):15351-15357.
AIM: To assess levels of serum resistin upon hospital admission as a predictor of acute pancreatitis (AP) severity.
METHODS: AP is both a common and serious disease, with severe cases resulting in a high mortality rate. Several predictive inflammatory markers have been used clinically to assess severity. This prospective study collected data from 102 patients who were diagnosed with an initial acute biliary pancreatitis between March 2010 and February 2013. Measurements of body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) were obtained and serum resistin levels were analyzed at the time of hospital admission using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Additionally, resistin levels were measured from a control group after matching gender, BMI and age.
RESULTS: A total of 102 patients (60 females and 42 males) were diagnosed with acute gallstone-induced pancreatitis. The mean age was 45 years, and mean BMI value was 30.5 kg/m2 (Obese, class I). Twenty-two patients (21.6%) had severe AP, while eighty-eight patients had mild pancreatitis (78.4%). Our results showed that BMI significantly correlated with pancreatitis severity (P = 0.007). Serum resistin did not correlate with BMI, weight or WC. Furthermore, serum resistin was significantly higher in patients with AP compared to control subjects (P < 0.0001). The mean resistin values upon admission were 17.5 ng/mL in the severe acute biliary pancreatitis group and 16.82 ng/mL in the mild AP group (P = 0.188), indicating that resistin is not an appropriate predictive marker of clinical severity.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrate that obesity is a risk factor for developing severe AP. Further, although there is a correlation between serum resistin levels and AP at the time of hospital admission, resistin does not adequately serve as a predictive marker of clinical severity.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i41.15351
PMCID: PMC4223269  PMID: 25386084
Acute pancreatitis; Resistin; Body mass index; Waist circumference
8.  Serum resistin levels may be new prognostic factor of crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever 
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus can cause potentially fatal infections in humans. During this disease, cytokines are intensive released. Resistin which is a good marker of inflammation is an adipocytokine released from adipose tissue. We aimed to investigate whether serum resistin level in patients with CCHF has a prognostic value in predicting recovery time. Twenty men and 22 women (a total of 42 CCHF patients) and a similar age group of 40 healthy individuals (16 men and 24 women) were included in the study. Hematologic tests, serum resistin level, C-reactive protein (CRP) and others biochemical values of all the two group subjects were evaluated. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed. Resistin level of patients with CCHF was higher than the controls (1252.6±864.7 ng/ml vs. 824.1±224.6 ng/ml, p=0.003). There was strongly association among recovery time, increased resistin level (p < 0.001), prothrombin time (PT) (p < 0.001), INR (p < 0.001), decreased white blood cell count (WBC) (p=0.012) and lower platelet counts (p=0.007). Serum resistin level is significantly elevated in CCHF patients. Resistin level may be a good prognostic factor to predict recovery time in patients with CCHF.
PMCID: PMC4238463  PMID: 25419394
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever; resistin; cytokines; C-reactive protein
9.  Increased Resistin Levels in Intra-abdominal Sepsis 
Objectives:
Resistin, a hormone secreted from adipocytes and considered to be a likely cause of insulin resistance, has recently been accepted as a proinflammatory cytokine. This study aimed to determine the correlation between resistin levels in patients with intra-abdominal sepsis and mortality.
Methods:
Of 45 patients with intra-abdominal sepsis, a total of 35 adult patients were included in the study. This study was undertaken from December 2011 to December 2012 and included patients who had no history of diabetes mellitus and who were admitted to the general surgery intensive care units of Gazi University and Bülent Ecevit University School of Medicine, Turkey. Evaluations were performed on 12 patients with sepsis, 10 patients with severe sepsis, 13 patients with septic shock and 15 healthy controls. The patients’ plasma resistin, interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), procalcitonin, lactate and glucose levels and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores were studied daily for the first five days after admission. A correlation analysis of serum resistin levels with cytokine levels and APACHE II scores was performed.
Results:
Serum resistin levels in patients with sepsis were significantly higher than in the healthy controls (P <0.001). A significant correlation was found between serum resistin levels and APACHE II scores, serum IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α, procalcitonin, lactate and glucose levels. Furthermore, a significant correlation was found between serum resistin levels and all-cause mortality (P = 0.02).
Conclusion:
The levels of resistin were significantly positively correlated with the severity of disease and were a possible mediator of a prolonged inflammatory state in patients with intra-abdominal sepsis.
PMCID: PMC4205063  PMID: 25364554
Resistin; Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome; Sepsis; Shock; Cytokines; APACHE II; Intra-Abdominal Infections
10.  Relationship between resistin level in serum and acute coronary syndrome or stable angina pectoris*  
Objective: To investigate the relationship between serum resistin level and acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or stable angina pectoris (SAP). Methods: Sixty-five patients, with coronary artery disease, were enrolled and divided into three subgroups: acute myocardial infarction (AMI), unstable angina pectoris (UAP) and SAP, and 26 healthy people were recruited as controls in the cross-sectional study. Serum resistin levels were determined by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), and WBC (white blood cell count), hsCRP (high sensitive C-reaction protein), CKmax (maximum of creatinkinase), CK-MBmax (maximum of isozyme of creatinkinase) and cTnImax (maximum of troponin) were measured by standard laboratory methods. Results: The serum resistin levels were 4 folds higher in AMI patients, 2.43 folds in UAP patients and 1.12 folds in SAP patients than in the healthy controls (P<0.05). The resistin levels were also significantly different between AMI [(8.16±0.79) ng/ml], UAP [(5.59±0.75) ng/ml] and SAP [(3.45±0.56) ng/ml] groups (P<0.01); WBC, hsCRP, CKmax, CK-MBmax and cTnImax were significantly increased in AMI patients over UAP and SAP patients. Spearman analysis showed that serum resistin levels were positively correlated with WBC (r=0.412, P=0.046), hsCRP (r=0.427, P=0.037), CKmax, CK-MBmax and cTnImax (r=0.731, 0.678, 0.656; P<0.01). Conclusion: Serum resistin levels increased with inflammatory factors and myocardial impairment. The results suggest that human resistin might play an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and AMI as an inflammatory factor.
doi:10.1631/jzus.2007.B0875
PMCID: PMC2100158  PMID: 18257120
Resistin; Acute coronary syndrome (ACS); Stable angina pectoris (SAP)
11.  Resistin mediates the hepatic stellate cell phenotype 
AIM: To describe the role of resistin in liver fibrosis.
METHODS: For the in vivo animal study, Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to bile duct ligation (BDL) for 4 wk. Rat liver, adipose tissue (epididymal fat) and serum were analyzed for resistin expression. For the in vitro experiment, rat primary hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and Kupffer cells (KCs) were used. HSCs were exposed to recombinant resistin, and collagen I, transforming growth factor β1, α smooth muscle actin, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 and connective tissue growth factor expression were analyzed. Resistin gene and protein expression was quantified as was the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, IL-8 and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1). The effects of resistin on HSC proliferation, migration and apoptosis were determined. The effects of resistin on KCs were also investigated.
RESULTS: Following BDL, rat epididymal fat and serum rather than liver showed higher resistin expression compared to control rats. In liver, resistin was expressed in quiescent HSCs and KCs. Resistin treatment resulted in enhancement of TNFα, IL-6, IL-8 and MCP-1 gene expression and increased IL-6 and MCP-1 protein in HSCs. Resistin activated HSC phospho-MAPK/p38, and p38 inhibition diminished IL-6 and MCP-1 expression. Furthermore, resistin facilitated HSC proliferation and migration, but decreased apoptosis which was via an IL-6 and MCP-1 mechanism. Finally, resistin-induced transforming growth factor β1 from KCs enhanced HSC collagen Iexpression.
CONCLUSION: Resistin directly and indirectly modulates HSC behavior towards a more pro-fibrogenic phenotype.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i28.4475
PMCID: PMC3725371  PMID: 23901222
Resistin; Hepatic stellate cell; Kupffer cell; Liver fibrosis; Monocyte chemotactic protein-1
12.  Serum resistin is associated with C-reactive protein and LDL- cholesterol in type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease in a Saudi population 
Aims
Resistin is an adipocyte-derived factor implicated in obesity-associated type 2 diabetes (T2DM). This study examines the association between human serum resistin, T2DM and coronary heart disease.
Methods
One hundred and fourteen Saudi Arabian patients (male: female ratio 46:68; age 51.4 (mean ± SD)11.7 years; median and range: 45.59 (11.7) years and BMI: 27.1 (mean ± SD) 8.1 Kgm2 median and range: 30.3 (6.3) were studied. Serum resistin and C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation CRP levels, were measured in all subjects. (35 patients had type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM); 22 patients had coronary heart disease (CHD).
Results
Serum resistin levels were 1.2-fold higher in type 2 diabetes and 1.3-fold higher in CHD than in controls (p = 0.01). In addition, CRP was significantly increased in both T2DM and CHD patients (p = 0.007 and p = 0.002 respectively). The use of regression analysis also determined that serum resistin correlated with CRP levels (p = 0.04, R2 0.045).
Conclusion
The findings from this study further implicate resistin as a circulating protein associated with T2DM and CHD. In addition this study also demonstrates an association between resistin and CRP, a marker of inflammation in type 2 diabetic patients.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-4-10
PMCID: PMC1183229  PMID: 15998471
type 2 diabetes; Coronary Artery disease; resistin; C-reactive protein
13.  Resistin in Rodents and Humans 
Diabetes & Metabolism Journal  2013;37(6):404-414.
Obesity is characterized by excess accumulation of lipids in adipose tissue and other organs, and chronic inflammation associated with insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases are major health concerns. Resistin was first discovered as an adipose-secreted hormone (adipokine) linked to obesity and insulin resistance in rodents. Adipocyte-derived resistin is increased in obese rodents and strongly related to insulin resistance. However, in contrast to rodents, resistin is expressed and secreted from macrophages in humans and is increased in inflammatory conditions. Some studies have also suggested an association between increased resistin levels and insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Genetic studies have provided additional evidence for a role of resistin in insulin resistance and inflammation. Resistin appears to mediate the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by promoting endothelial dysfunction, vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, arterial inflammation, and formation of foam cells. Indeed, resistin is predictive of atherosclerosis and poor clinical outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease and ischemic stroke. There is also growing evidence that elevated resistin is associated with the development of heart failure. This review will focus on the biology of resistin in rodents and humans, and evidence linking resistin with type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.4093/dmj.2013.37.6.404
PMCID: PMC3881324  PMID: 24404511
Adipocytes; Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular diseases; Diabetes mellitus, type 2; Inflammation; Insulin resistance; Macrophages; Obesity; Polymorphism, genetic; Resistin
14.  Role of resistin as a marker of inflammation in systemic lupus erythematosus 
Introduction
Resistin is a cystein-rich secretory adipokine. It is proposed to have proinflammatory properties in humans. The aim of this study was to determine associations between serum levels of resistin and markers of inflammation and bone mineral density (BMD) in female patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods
One hundred sixty-three female patients with SLE (20 to 82 years old) were examined in a cross-sectional study. Venous blood samples were analyzed for resistin, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein, creatinine, fasting lipids, complements, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, sIL-6R (soluble IL-6 receptor), ICTP (C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen), and PINP (N-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen). Simple and multiple regression analyses as well as logistic regression analyses were performed. Resistin in serum was compared with 42 healthy female controls with respect to age.
Results
Serum resistin levels in controls were similar to those of patients with SLE. Markers of inflammation and current dose of glucocorticosteroids correlated positively to resistin in serum. Markers of renal function, number of prevalent vertebral fractures, and BMD were also significantly associated with resistin. In a multiple regression model, ESR, creatinine, C3, current glucocorticosteroid dose, high-density lipoprotein, and BMD radius remained significantly associated with resistin. In logistic regression analyses with resistin as the independent variable, a significant association was found with ESR (normal or elevated) but not with S-creatinine or z score for hip and radius total.
Conclusion
Although resistin measurements did not differ between patients and controls, resistin was clearly associated with general inflammation, renal disease, treatment with glucocorticosteroids, and bone loss. We hypothesize that resistin has proinflammatory and disease-promoting properties in SLE. Further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanism behind these associations.
doi:10.1186/ar2366
PMCID: PMC2374439  PMID: 18234104
15.  Putative Roles of Circulating Resistin in Patients with Asthma, COPD and Cigarette Smokers 
Disease markers  2011;31(1):1-7.
Aims: To investigate the hypothesis that circulating resistin reflects the degree of pulmonary inflammation, this study explores putative roles of resistin in patients with acute and stable inflammatory obstructive airway diseases and cigarette smokers.
Methods: We determined complements C3, C4, fasting resistin, insulin, glucose and lipid profile; calculated insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) in patients with acute asthma exacerbation (n = 34); stable asthma (n = 26) and stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; n = 26), cigarette smokers (n = 81), and healthy control subjects (n = 42). We determined the associations between these variables and pulmonary function tests.
Results: Patients with COPD, acute and stable asthma had significantly higher resistin and insulin than control subjects. Resistin, insulin, HOMA-IR, FEV1% and FEV1/FVC were significantly (p < 0.05) different between patients with acute asthma compared with stable asthma and COPD; smokers had similar levels of resistin, C3 and C4 as patients with asthma and COPD. In smokers, patientswith asthma or COPD, resistin showed significant inverse correlations with FEV1%; FEV1/FVC% and positive significant correlations with BMI and HOMA-IR. Logistic regression showed that resistin is associated (p < 0.05) with inflammatory obstructive airways disease − odds ratio (OR) = 1.22 and smoking OR = 1.18.
Conclusion: Resistin may be a disease activity marker and may contribute to insulin resistance in smokers, asthma and COPD.
doi:10.3233/DMA-2011-0793
PMCID: PMC3826866  PMID: 21846943
Asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases; insulin resistance; resistin; smokers
16.  Measurement of Salivary Resistin Level in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes 
Serum resistin was initially hypothesized as a link between obesity and insulin resistance in mice. The latest evidence suggests that serum resistin is proinflammatory cytokines. Inflammation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Many reports have previously identified changed serum resistin levels in patients with T2DM, but little is known of the levels of resistin in saliva. In our study, saliva and serum samples were collected from 38 patients with newly diagnosed T2DM at each time point of OGTT and 35 nondiabetic controls at fasting state. Resistin concentrations were measured using ELISA. We have demonstrated the presence of resistin in saliva of T2DM and nondiabetic subjects. Saliva resistin levels of T2DM are significantly higher than those of nondiabetic controls. Resistin levels in saliva are not affected by eating activity and correlated with serum resistin levels at any time points of OGTT. A positive correlation of serum and salivary resistin with BMI and HOMA-IR existed in T2DM. Measurement of resistin in saliva is a simple, noninvasive and may be an acceptable alternative to blood sampling for evaluatinginflammation/obesity/insulin resistance state.
doi:10.1155/2012/359724
PMCID: PMC3437284  PMID: 22969799
17.  An Inflammatory Cascade Leading to Hyperresistinemia in Humans 
PLoS Medicine  2004;1(2):e45.
Background
Obesity, the most common cause of insulin resistance, is increasingly recognized as a low-grade inflammatory state. Adipocyte-derived resistin is a circulating protein implicated in insulin resistance in rodents, but the role of human resistin is uncertain because it is produced largely by macrophages.
Methods and Findings
The effect of endotoxin and cytokines on resistin gene and protein expression was studied in human primary blood monocytes differentiated into macrophages and in healthy human participants.
Inflammatory endotoxin induced resistin in primary human macrophages via a cascade involving the secretion of inflammatory cytokines that circulate at increased levels in individuals with obesity. Induction of resistin was attenuated by drugs with dual insulin-sensitizing and anti-inflammatory properties that converge on NF-κB. In human study participants, experimental endotoxemia, which produces an insulin-resistant state, causes a dramatic rise in circulating resistin levels. Moreover, in patients with type 2 diabetes, serum resistin levels are correlated with levels of soluble tumor necrosis factor α receptor, an inflammatory marker linked to obesity, insulin resistance, and atherosclerosis.
Conclusions
Inflammation is a hyperresistinemic state in humans, and cytokine induction of resistin may contribute to insulin resistance in endotoxemia, obesity, and other inflammatory states.
Inflammatory stimuli affect resistin expression in human macrophages and raise serum resistin levels in healthy volunteers
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0010045
PMCID: PMC529430  PMID: 15578112
18.  Resistin Production from Adipose Tissue Is Decreased in db/db Obese Mice, and Is Reversed by Rosiglitazone 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65543.
Objective
This study was designed to (1) investigate the expression profiles of resistin in db/db mice and its dynamic association with metabolic parameters; and (2) evaluate the effects of Rosiglitazone on production of resistin.
Methods
Db/db mice and their lean litter mates were used for this study. Epididymal fat tissue was excised from mice of different age (from 5 to 12 weeks) for ex vivo incubation. Resistin,along with adiponectin,in serum and conditioned culture medium of epididymal fat pads were measured with immunoassays. The gene expression of resistin was determined by real-time PCR. Rosiglitazone or the vehicle (PBS) was administered into db/db mice by daily intra-gastric gavage. Differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were used for in vitro evaluation.
Results
The secretion of resistin from the fat pads in db/db mice was significantly lower than that in lean mice (P<0.01). The mRNA expression of the resistin gene in fat tissue of db/db mice at the age of 5 weeks was decreased by 60.5% compared to lean controls (p<0.05). Serum levels of resistin were comparable between the obese and lean groups, perhaps due to the increased total fat mass in db/db mice. Correlation analysis showed that serum resistin levels were positively correlated to resistin secretion from fat pads(r = 0.844,P = 0.000), while negatively associated with the body weight (r = −0.515, P = 0.000) and fasting glucose level (r = −0.357, P = 0.002). Notably, treatment with rosiglitazone increased the serum resistin levels by 66.4%(P<0.05)in db/db mice. In 3T3-L1 adipocytes, Rosiglitazone (10 uM) markedly enhanced the secretion of resistin by 120% (P<0.01) and its gene expression by 78.1% (P<0.05).
Conclusion
Both resistin gene expression and its secretion from the epididymal adipose tissue were decreased in db/db obese mice, while the insulin-sensitizing drug rosiglitazone increased resistin production. Our results do not support the role of resistin as an etiological link between obesity and diabetes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065543
PMCID: PMC3680457  PMID: 23776497
19.  Serum resistin and high sensitive CRP levels in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism before and after L-thyroxine therapy 
Background
Subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) is defined by increased thyrotropin (TSH) and normal free thyroxine (fT4) and free triiodothyronine (fT3) levels. Resistin is secreted from adipose tissue and is reported to be associated with insulin resistance and/or inflammation. High sensitive CRP (hs-CRP) is a reliable marker of inflammation. Data related to levels of resistin and hs-CRP in SH and the effect of L-thyroxine treatment on those is limited. We aimed to determine the levels of resistin and hs-CRP in women with SH, and potential effects of L-thyroxine therapy on those levels.
Material/Methods
Thirty-six patients with SH and 27 age- and BMI-matched healthy control women were included. Waist circumference (Wc), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), resting energy expenditure (REE), fat mass (FM) and lean mass (LM), TSH, free T4 (fT4), free T3 (fT3), total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), and HDL- and LDL-cholesterol were determined in all participants. Patients received L-thyroxine treatment for 6 months, after which all measurements were repeated. Resistin and hs-CRP levels were studied from frozen samples after the completion of the study.
Results
The 2 groups had similar values for Wc, WHR, FM, LM, TC, TG, HDL-C, LDL-C, resistin, and hs-CRP at the beginning. fT4 were higher, whereas TSH was lower in the control group. Resistin and hs-CRP levels did not change after treatment. hs-CRP correlated with BMI and FM before and after treatment.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that achievement of euthyroid status by replacement therapy did not change resistin or hs-CRP levels in women with SH. hs-CRP correlated with parameters of obesity, which emphasizes the role of body weight in inflammation.
doi:10.12659/MSM.883847
PMCID: PMC3628353  PMID: 23518675
resistin; high-sensitive-CRP; subclinical hypothyroidism
20.  Peripheral Mononuclear Cell Resistin mRNA Expression Is Increased in Type 2 Diabetic Women 
Mediators of Inflammation  2008;2008:892864.
Resistin has been shown to cause insulin resistance and to impair glucose tolerance in rodents, but in humans its physiological role still remains elusive. The aim of this study was to examine whether resistin mRNA expression in human peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and its corresponding plasma levels are altered in type 2 diabetes. Resistin mRNA levels were easily detectable in human PBMC, and found to be higher in DM2 compared to healthy women (P = .05). Similarly, mononuclear mRNA levels of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6 were all significantly higher in DM2 compared to control women (P < .001). The corresponding plasma resistin levels were slightly, but not significantly, increased in DM2 women (P = .051), and overall, they correlated significantly with BMI (r = 0.406, P = .010) and waist circumference (r = 0.516, P = .003), but not with fasting insulin levels or HOMA-IR. Resistin mRNA expression is increased in PBMC from DM2 women, together with increased expression of the inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6, independent of obesity. These results suggest that resistin and cytokines might contribute to the low-grade inflammation and the increased atherogenic risk observed in these patients.
doi:10.1155/2008/892864
PMCID: PMC2606019  PMID: 19125180
21.  Adipokine resistin predicts anti-inflammatory effect of glucocorticoids in asthma 
Background
Adipokines are protein mediators secreted by adipose tissue. Recently, adipokines have also been involved in the regulation of inflammation and allergic responses, and suggested to affect the risk of asthma especially in obese female patients. We assessed if adipokines predict responsiveness to glucocorticoids and if plasma adipokine levels are associated with lung function or inflammatory activity also in non-obese (body mass index (BMI) ≤ 30 kg/m2) women with newly-diagnosed steroid-naïve asthma.
Methods
Lung function, exhaled NO, plasma levels of adipokines leptin, resistin, adiponectin and adipsin, and inflammatory markers were measured in 35 steroid-naïve female asthmatics and in healthy controls. The measurements were repeated in a subgroup of asthmatics after 8 weeks of treatment with inhaled fluticasone. Adipokine concentrations in plasma were adjusted for BMI.
Results
High baseline resistin concentrations were associated with a more pronounced decrease in serum levels of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) (r = -0.745, p = 0.013), eosinophil protein X (EPX) (r = -0.733, p = 0.016) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) (r = -0.721, p = 0.019) during fluticasone treatment. In asthmatics, leptin correlated positively with asthma symptom score and negatively with lung function. However, no significant differences in plasma adipokine levels between non-obese asthmatics and healthy controls were found. The effects of resistin were also investigated in human macrophages in cell culture. Interestingly, resistin increased the production of proinflammatory factors IL-6 and TNF-α and that was inhibited by fluticasone.
Conclusions
High resistin levels predicted favourable anti-inflammatory effect of inhaled glucocorticoids suggesting that resistin may be a marker of steroid-sensitive phenotype in asthma. High leptin levels were associated with a more severe disease suggesting that the link between leptin and asthma is not restricted to obesity.
doi:10.1186/1476-9255-8-12
PMCID: PMC3117675  PMID: 21615949
22.  Adipocytokine Profile, Cytokine Levels and Foxp3 Expression in Multiple Sclerosis: a Possible Link to Susceptibility and Clinical Course of Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76555.
Background
Adipocytokines may be involved in multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as other autoimmune and inflammatory-related diseases. This study aims to compare levels of resistin, visfatin and leptin in three subgroups of MS patients with healthy subjects and also to study their relationship with Foxp3 expression and levels of several pro-inflammatory mediators such as interleukine-1 β(IL-1 β),tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and human sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).
Methods
A total of 391 subjects including 200 healthy controls and 191 MS patients were recruited for this case-control study. Circulating adipocytokines and inflammatory mediators were measured using immunoassay methods. Foxp3 gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was determined by quantitative real-time PCR. Fat tissue mass was evaluated by using dual energy X-ray absorptiometery (DEXA).
Results
A significant difference was observed in levels of inflammatory mediators, adipocytokines, Foxp3 gene expression and adipose tissue mass between MS patients and healthy controls. All adipocytokines were positively correlated with levels of inflammatory mediators and negatively correlated with Foxp3 expression in MS patients. In controls, there were positive correlations between circulating leptin and resistin with TNF-α and IL-1β in subgroup analysis, the highest levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, hs-CRP, resistin and leptin were observed in primary progressive-MS (PP-MS) patients. Also, expression of Foxp3 and levels of visfatin in relapsing remitting-MS(RR-MS) patients were higher compared with the other subgroups.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest the potential role of adipocytokines in pathogenesis and severity of MS. Notably, the relationship of adipocytokines levels with inflammatory cytokines as well as clinical features of MS could be considerable in translational medicine and biomarker studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076555
PMCID: PMC3789814  PMID: 24098530
23.  Serum Levels of Resistin, Adiponectin, and Apelin in Gastroesophageal Cancer Patients 
Disease Markers  2014;2014:619649.
The aim of the study was the investigation of relationship between cachexia syndrome and serum resistin, adiponectin, and apelin in patients with gastroesophageal cancer (GEC). Material and Methods. Adipocytokines concentrations were measured in sera of 85 GEC patients and 60 healthy controls. They were also evaluated in tumor tissue and appropriate normal mucosa of 38 operated cancer patients. Results. Resistin and apelin concentrations were significantly higher in GEC patients than in the controls. The highest resistin levels were found in cachectic patients and in patients with distant metastasis. Serum adiponectin significantly decreased in GEC patients with regional and distant metastasis. Serum apelin was significantly higher in cachectic patients than in the controls. Apelin was positively correlated with hsCRP level. Resistin and apelin levels increased significantly in tumor tissues. Weak positive correlations between adipocytokines levels in serum and in tumor tissue were observed. Conclusions. Resistin is associated with cachexia and metastasis processes of GEC. Reduction of serum adiponectin reflects adipose tissue wasting in relation to GEC progression. Correlation of apelin with hsCRP can reflect a presumable role of apelin in systemic inflammatory response in esophageal and gastric cancer.
doi:10.1155/2014/619649
PMCID: PMC4094727  PMID: 25049439
24.  Novel Adipokines, High Molecular Weight Adiponectin and Resistin, are Associated with Outcomes following Lower Extremity Revascularization with Autogenous Vein 
Objective
A significant portion of patients undergoing lower extremity bypass surgery (LEB) for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) will have cardiovascular or graft-related events. It has been previously demonstrated that systemic inflammation is associated with PAD and its clinical outcomes. We hypothesized that serum biomarkers of insulin resistance and inflammation would identify a sub-group at elevated risk for graft failure, limb loss, and mortality.
Methods
This was a prospective longitudinal study of patients (N=225) undergoing LEB using autogenous vein. Baseline blood samples were obtained prior to surgery in the fasting state. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and the adipokines resistin and high-molecular weight adiponectin (HMWA) were measured by ELISA. Median follow-up was 893 days. The major endpoints of primary patency (PP) and amputation free survival (AFS) were examined using multivariable methods. Endpoints were screened against biomarkers and patient characteristics for univariate associations. Promising explanatory variables (P < 0.1) were included in multivariable Cox proportional hazard models.
Results
The mean age of subjects was 67.6 years; 71.6% were male and 87.1% were Caucasian. One-hundred and thirty-three (59.1%) subjects underwent bypass for critical limb ischemia (CLI) and 73 (32.4%) had tissue loss. Patients with CLI and diabetes demonstrated elevated resistin and hsCRP levels. HMWA levels correlated with CLI and with a measure of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) but not with clinical diabetes. Baseline biomarkers were higher in those presenting with tissue loss and in patients with post-operative events (mortality, limb loss). After multivariable analysis (including CLI, diabetes, age, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), adiponectin, resistin, and CRP), resistin (HR 1.75, 95% CI 1.07 to 2.85, P=0.025) and CRP (HR 2.39, 95% CI 1.30 to 4.39, P=0.005) were independently predictive of reduced AFS. However, only resistin maintained its significance when restricted to the diabetic cohort (HR 2.10, 95% CI 1.10 to 3.99, P=0.025). Higher levels of HMWA were found to be associated with primary graft patency (HR 0.73 for graft failure, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.97, P=0.031) in a multivariable model adjusting for diabetes, CRP, African-American race, CLI, high-risk conduits, and redo bypass procedures.
Conclusion
These findings suggest that serum biomarkers of insulin resistance and inflammation may be predictive of clinical outcomes following LEB. Improving the systemic milieu of insulin resistance and inflammation in these high-risk patients may lead to reduced morbidity and mortality.
doi:10.1016/j.jvs.2009.12.051
PMCID: PMC2860673  PMID: 20223619
25.  The metastasis promoting protein S100A4 levels associate with disease activity rather than cancer development in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies 
Introduction
The aim was to evaluate S100A4 protein as a biomarker of disease activity and potential cancer development in patients with myositis.
Methods
Serum levels of S100A4 were determined in 43 dermatomyositis (DM), 39 polymyositis (PM) and 22 cancer associated myositis (CAM) patients as well as in 77 healthy controls. The associations between S100A4 levels, inflammation, disease activity, muscle strength and cancer development were evaluated.
Results
All myositis patients had significantly higher serum levels of S100A4 protein compared to healthy controls (median (IQR): 31.5 (17.4 to 59.5) versus 23.8 (14.5 to 33.7) ng/ml, P <0.05). In patients with PM, serum levels of S100A4 protein were significantly higher than in healthy controls (41.6 (24.2 to 123.1) versus 23.8 (14.5 to 33.7) ng/ml; P <0.001) as well as in patients with DM (26.7 (11.3 to 47.5) ng/ml; P <0.05). The levels of S100A4 were comparable between myositis with and without cancer. In all myositis patients, serum S100A4 levels correlated with MYOsitis disease ACTivity assessment (MYOACT) score (r = 0.34; P = 0.001), constitutional (r = 0.30; P = 0.003), pulmonary (r = 0.43; P = 0.0001) and extramuscular disease activity (r = 0.36; P = 0.0001), as well as with creatine phosphokinase (r = 0.27; P = 0.015) and lactate dehydrogenase (r = 0.37; P = 0.002) or c-reactive protein (CRP) levels (r = 0.24; P = 0.038). Multiple regression analysis showed significant association between S100A4 serum levels and extramuscular disease activity (β = 0.552; P = 0.002) in PM patients and with MYOACT (β = 0.557; P = 0.003) and CRP levels (β = 0.391; P = 0.029) in DM patients.
Conclusions
Circulating levels of S100A4 are elevated in patients with myositis and associate with several disease activity parameters, particularly with extramuscular components. No relation between S100A4 levels and presence of cancer associated myositis was found.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-014-0468-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13075-014-0468-2
PMCID: PMC4241220  PMID: 25359220

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