Resistin, a product of the RSTN gene, is a peptide hormone belonging to the class of cysteine-rich secreted proteins which is termed the RELM family, and is also described as ADSF (Adipose Tissue- Specific Secretory Factor) and FIZZ3 (Found in Inflammatory Zone). Human resistin contains 108 amino acids as a prepeptide, and its hydrofobic signal peptide is cleaved before its secretion. Resistin circulates in human blood as a dimeric protein consisting of two 92 amino acid polypeptides, which are disulfide-linked via Cys26.
Mouse resistin, specifically produced and secreted by adipocyte, acts on skeletal muscle myocytes, hepatocytes and adipocytes themselves so that it reduces their sensitivity. Steppan et al. have suggested that resistin suppresses the ability to stimulate glucose uptake. They have also suggested that resistin is present at elevated levels in blood of obese mice, and is down regulated by fasting and antidiabetic drugs. Way et al., on the other hand, have found that resistin expression is severly suppressed in obesity and is stimulated by several antidiabetic drugs.
Other studies have shown that mouse resistin increases during the differentiation of adipocytes, but it also seems to inhibit adipogenesis. In contrast, the human adipogenic differentiation is likely to be associated with a down regulation of resistin gene expression.