Resistin, a recently described adipocyte factor, is regulated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonists. While resistin has been proposed to mediate insulin resistance in rodents, little is known about human resistin and its expression in pancreatic islets has not been tested. The goal of the present study was therefore to analyze whether resistin, like PPARγ, is expressed in islets. Human islets from seven donors were analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR revealing resistin expression in all samples. Immunohistochemistry using a resistin-specific antibody on human pancreatic sections localized resistin protein to the islets. Mouse resistin was also detected in the Min6 beta cell line. Interestingly, we found a 4-fold increase in islet resistin expression in insulin resistant A-ZIP transgenic compared to wild-type mice. Our results demonstrate that resistin is expressed in islets and up-regulated in insulin resistance and thereby shed new light on the role of resistin in mice and humans. © 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.