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The chronic inflammatory state that accompanies obesity is a major contributor to insulin resistance and other dysfunctional adaptations in adipose tissue. Cellular and secreted factors promote the inflammatory milieu of obesity, but the transcriptional pathways that drive these processes are not well described. Although the canonical inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB is considered to be the major driver of adipocyte inflammation, members of the interferon regulatory factor (IRF) family may also play a role in this process. Here, we determined that IRF3 expression is upregulated in the adipocytes of obese mice and humans. Signaling through TLR3 and TLR4, which lie upstream of IRF3, induced insulin resistance in murine adipocytes, while IRF3 knockdown prevented insulin resistance. Furthermore, improved insulin sensitivity in IRF3-deficient mice was associated with reductions in intra-adipose and systemic inflammation in the high fat-fed state, enhanced browning of subcutaneous fat, and increased adipose expression of GLUT4. Taken together, the data indicate that IRF3 is a major transcriptional regulator of adipose inflammation and is involved in maintaining systemic glucose and energy homeostasis.
It has been shown that CD1d expression and glycolipid-reactive, CD1d-restricted NKT cells exacerbate the development of obesity and insulin resistance in mice. However, the relevant CD1d-expressing cells that influence the effects of NKT cells on the progression of obesity remain incompletely defined. In this study, we have demonstrated that 3T3-L1 adipocytes can present endogenous ligands to NKT cells, leading to IFN-γ production, which in turn, stimulated 3T3-L1 adipocytes to enhance expression of CD1d and CCL2, and decrease expression of adiponectin. Furthermore, adipocyte-specific CD1d deletion decreased the size of the visceral adipose tissue mass and enhanced insulin sensitivity in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Accordingly, NKT cells were less activated, IFN-γ production was significantly reduced, and levels of adiponectin were increased in these animals as compared with control mice on HFD. Importantly, macrophage recruitment into the adipose tissue of adipocyte-specific CD1d-deficient mice was significantly blunted. These findings indicate that interactions between NKT cells and CD1d-expressing adipocytes producing endogenous NKT cell ligands play a critical role in the induction of inflammation and functional modulation of adipose tissue that leads to obesity.
Lipid droplets are intracellular energy storage organelles composed of a hydrophobic core of neutral lipid, surrounded by a monolayer of phospholipid and a diverse array of proteins. The function of the vast majority of these proteins with regard to the formation and/or turnover of lipid droplets is unknown. Our laboratory was the first to report that microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP), a lipid transfer protein essential for the assembly of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, was expressed in adipose tissue of humans and mice. In addition, our studies suggested that MTP was associated with lipid droplets in both brown and white fat. Our observations led us to hypothesize that MTP plays a key role in lipid droplet formation and/or turnover. The objective of these studies was to gain insight into the function of MTP in adipocytes. Using molecular, biochemical, and morphologic approaches we have shown: 1) MTP protein levels increase nearly five-fold as 3T3-L1 cells differentiate into adipocytes. 2) As 3T3-L1 cells undergo differentiation, MTP moves from the juxtanuclear region of the cell to the surface of lipid droplets. MTP and perilipin 2, a major lipid droplet surface protein, are found on the same droplets; however, MTP does not co-localize with perilipin 2. 3) Inhibition of MTP activity has no effect on the movement of triglyceride out of the cell either as a lipid complex or via lipolysis. 4) MTP is found associated with lipid droplets within hepatocytes from human fatty livers, suggesting that association of MTP with lipid droplets is not restricted to adipocytes. In summary, our data demonstrate that MTP is a lipid droplet-associated protein. Its location on the surface of the droplet in adipocytes and hepatocytes, coupled with its known function as a lipid transfer protein and its increased expression during adipocyte differentiation suggest a role in lipid droplet biology.
Glucocorticoids signal through the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and are administered clinically for a variety of situations, including inflammatory disorders, specific cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, and organ/tissue transplantation. However, glucocorticoid therapy is also associated with additional complications, including steroid-induced diabetes. We hypothesized that modification of the steroid backbone is one strategy to enhance the therapeutic potential of GR activation. Toward this goal, two commercially unavailable, thiobenzothiazole-containing derivatives of hydrocortisone (termed MS4 and MS6) were examined using 832/13 rat insulinoma cells as well as rodent and human islets. We found that MS4 had transrepression properties but lacked transactivation ability, whereas MS6 retained both transactivation and transrepression activities. In addition, MS4 and MS6 both displayed anti-inflammatory activity. Furthermore, MS4 displayed reduced impact on islet β-cell function in both rodent and human islets. Similar to dexamethasone, MS6 promoted adipocyte development in vitro, whereas MS4 did not. Moreover, neither MS4 nor MS6 activated the Pck1 (Pepck) gene in primary rat hepatocytes. We conclude that modification of the functional groups attached to the D-ring of the hydrocortisone steroid molecule produces compounds with altered structure-function GR agonist activity with decreased impact on insulin secretion and reduced adipogenic potential but with preservation of anti-inflammatory activity.
© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
To understand the physiological significance of the reduction in fasting insulin produced by dietary methionine restriction (MR), hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps were used to examine the effect of the diet on overall and tissue-specific insulin sensitivity in mice. The steady-state glucose infusion rate was threefold higher in the MR group and consistent with the 2.5- to threefold increase in 2-deoxyglucose uptake in skeletal muscle, heart, and white adipose tissue. Dietary MR enhanced suppression of hepatic glucose production by insulin, enhanced insulin-dependent Akt phosphorylation in the liver, and increased hepatic expression and circulating fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21) by fourfold. Limitation of media methionine recapitulated amplification of Akt phosphorylation by insulin in HepG2 cells but not in 3T3-L1 adipocytes or C2C12 myotubes. Amplification of insulin signaling in HepG2 cells by MR was associated with reduced glutathione, where it functions as a cofactor for phosphatase and tensin homolog. In contrast, FGF-21, but not restricting media methionine, enhanced insulin-dependent Akt phosphorylation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. These findings provide a potential mechanism for the diet-induced increase in insulin sensitivity among tissues that involves a direct effect of methionine in liver and an indirect effect in adipose tissue through MR-dependent increases in hepatic transcription and release of FGF-21.
© 2014 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of enrichment with n-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), on the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Enrichment with DHA but not EPA significantly increased the differentiation markers compared to control differentiated cells. DHA compared to EPA treatment led to a greater increase in adiponectin secretion and, conditioned media collected from DHA treated cells inhibited monocyte migration. Moreover, DHA treatment resulted in inhibition of pro-inflammatory signaling pathways. DHA treated cells predominantly accumulated DHA in phospholipids whereas EPA treatment led to accumulation of both EPA and its elongation product docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), an n-3 fatty acid. Of note, adding DPA to DHA inhibited DHA-induced differentiation. The differential effects of EPA and DHA on preadipocyte differentiation may be due, in part, to differences in their intracellular modification which could impact the type of n-3 fatty acids incorporated into the cells.
© 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Thrombospondin 1 (THBS1 or TSP-1) is a circulating glycoprotein highly expressed in hypertrophic visceral adipose tissues of humans and mice. High-fat diet (HFD) feeding induces the robust increase of circulating THBS1 in the early stages of HFD challenge. The loss of Thbs1 protects male mice from diet-induced weight gain and adipocyte hypertrophy. Hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp study has demonstrated that Thbs1-null mice are protected from HFD-induced insulin resistance. Tissue-specific glucose uptake study has revealed that the insulin-sensitive phenotype of Thbs1-null mice is mostly mediated by skeletal muscles. Further assessments of the muscle phenotype using RNA sequencing, quantitative PCR, and histological studies have demonstrated that Thbs1-null skeletal muscles are protected from the HFD-dependent induction of Col3a1 and Col6a1, coupled with a new collagen deposition. At the same time, the Thbs1-null mice display a better circadian rhythm and higher amplitude of energy expenditure with a browning phenotype in sc adipose tissues. These results suggest that THBS1, which circulates in response to a HFD, may induce insulin resistance and fibrotic tissue damage in skeletal muscles as well as the de-browning of sc adipose tissues in the early stages of a HFD challenge. Our study may shed new light on the pathogenic role played by a circulating extracellular matrix protein in the cross talk between adipose tissues and skeletal muscles during obesity progression.
We have studied the relationship between diacylglycerol kinase delta (DGKδ) and lipogenesis. There is a marked increase in the expression of DGKδ during the differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells to adipocytes, as well as in the synthesis of neutral and polar lipids. When 3T3-L1 undifferentiated fibroblasts are transfected to express DGKδ, there is increased triglyceride synthesis without differentiation to adipocytes. Hence, expression of DGKδ promotes lipogenesis. Lipid synthesis is decreased in DGKδ knockout mouse embryo fibroblasts, especially for lipids with shorter acyl chains and limited unsaturation. This reduction occurs for both neutral and polar lipids. These findings suggest reduced de novo lipid synthesis. This is confirmed by measuring the incorporation of glycerol into polar and neutral lipids, which is higher in the wild type cells than in the DGKδ knockouts. In comparison, there was no change in lipid synthesis in DGKε knockout mouse embryo fibroblasts. We also demonstrate that the DGKδ knockout cells had a lower expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase as well as a lower degree of activation by phosphorylation of ATP citrate lyase. These three enzymes are involved in the synthesis of long chain fatty acids. Our results demonstrate that DGKδ markedly increases lipid synthesis, at least in part as a result of promoting the de novo synthesis of fatty acids.
Glucocorticoid (GC) induction of the tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) gene by the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a classic model used to investigate steroid-regulated gene expression. Classic studies analyzing GC-induction of the TAT gene demonstrated that despite having very high affinity for GR, some steroids cannot induce maximal TAT enzyme activity, but the molecular basis for this phenomenon is unknown. Here, we used RT-PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation to determine TAT mRNA accumulation and GR recruitment to the TAT promoter (TAT-GRE) in rat hepatoma cells induced by seven GR ligands: dexamethasone (DEX), cortisol (CRT), corticosterone (CCS), 11-deoxycorticosterone (DOC), aldosterone (ALD), progesterone (PRG) and 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17P). As expected, DEX, CRT, CCS and ALD all induced both TAT mRNA and GR recruitment to the TAT-GRE, while PRG and 17P did not. However, while DOC could not induce significant TAT mRNA, it did induce robust GR occupancy of the TAT-GRE. DOC also induced recruitment of the histone acetyltransferase p300 to the TAT-GRE as efficiently as DEX. These DOC-induced effects recapitulated at another GR target gene (sulfonyltransferase 1A1), and DOC also failed to promote the multiple changes in gene expression required for glucocorticoid-dependent 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation. Structural simulations and protease sensitivity assays suggest that DOC and DEX induce different conformations in GR. Thus, although steroids that bind GR with high affinity can induce GR and p300 occupancy of target promoters, they may not induce a conformation of GR capable of activating transcription.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - Adipose tissue inflammation with immune cell recruitment plays a key role in obesity-induced insulin resistance (IR). Long-chain (LC) n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have anti-inflammatory potential; however, their individual effects on adipose IR are ill defined. We hypothesized that EPA and DHA may differentially affect macrophage-induced IR in adipocytes.
METHODS - J774.2 macrophages pretreated with EPA or DHA (50 μM for 5 days) were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 100 ng/ml for 30 min-48 h). Cytokine secretion profiles and activation status of macrophages were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and flow cytometry. Pretreated macrophages were seeded onto transwell inserts and placed over 3T3-L1 adipocytes for 24-72 h; effects on adipocyte-macrophage cytokine cross-talk and insulin-stimulated ³H-glucose transport into adipocytes were monitored.
RESULTS - DHA had more potent anti-inflammatory effects relative to EPA, with marked attenuation of LPS-induced nuclear factor (NF)κB activation and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α secretion in macrophages. DHA specifically enhanced anti-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-10 secretion and reduced the expression of proinflammatory M1 (F4/80⁺/CD11⁺) macrophages. Co-culture of DHA-enriched macrophages with adipocytes attenuated IL-6 and TNFα secretion while enhancing IL-10 secretion. Conditioned media (CM) from DHA-enriched macrophages attenuated adipocyte NFκB activation. Adipocytes co-cultured with DHA-enriched macrophages maintained insulin sensitivity with enhanced insulin-stimulated ³H-glucose transport, GLUT4 translocation and preservation of insulin-receptor substrate-1 expression compared to co-culture with untreated macrophages. We confirmed that IL-10 expressed by DHA-enriched macrophages attenuates the CM-induced proinflammatory IR phenotype in adipocytes.
CONCLUSIONS - We demonstrate an attenuated proinflammatory phenotype of DHA-pretreated macrophages, which when co-cultured with adipocytes partially preserved insulin sensitivity.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.