Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein contributes to lipid droplet maturation in adipocytes.

Swift LL, Love JD, Harris CM, Chang BH, Jerome WG
PLoS One. 2017 12 (8): e0181046

PMID: 28793320 · PMCID: PMC5549975 · DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0181046

Previous studies in our laboratory have established the presence of MTP in both white and brown adipose tissue in mice as well as in 3T3-L1 cells. Additional studies demonstrated an increase in MTP levels as 3T3-L1 cells differentiate into adipocytes concurrent with the movement of MTP from the juxtanuclear region of the cell to the surface of lipid droplets. This suggested a role for MTP in lipid droplet biogenesis and/or maturation. To probe the role of MTP in adipocytes, we used a Cre-Lox approach with aP2-Cre and Adipoq-Cre recombinase transgenic mice to knock down MTP expression in brown and white fat of mice. MTP expression was reduced approximately 55% in white fat and 65-80% in brown fat. Reducing MTP expression in adipose tissue had no effect on weight gain or body composition, whether the mice were fed a regular rodent or high fat diet. In addition, serum lipids and unesterified fatty acid levels were not altered in the knockdown mice. Importantly, decreased MTP expression in adipose tissue was associated with smaller lipid droplets in brown fat and smaller adipocytes in white fat. These results combined with our previous studies showing MTP lipid transfer activity is not necessary for lipid droplet initiation or growth in the early stages of differentiation, suggest that a structural feature of the MTP protein is important in lipid droplet maturation. We conclude that MTP protein plays a critical role in lipid droplet maturation, but does not regulate total body fat accumulation.

MeSH Terms (13)

3T3-L1 Cells Adipocytes Adipose Tissue, Brown Adipose Tissue, White Animals Body Composition Carrier Proteins Diet, High-Fat Gene Knockdown Techniques Lipid Droplets Mice Mice, Transgenic Weight Gain

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