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  • Author: Yanli Miao x
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Yanli Miao, Haojie Qin, Yi Zhong, Kai Huang, and Caijun Rao

Obesity is an increasingly serious epidemic worldwide characterized by an increase in the number and size of adipocytes. Adipose tissue maintains the balance between lipid storage and energy utilization. Therefore, adipose metabolism is of great significance for the prevention, treatment and intervention of obesity. Asprosin, a novel adipokine, is a circulating hormone mainly secreted by white adipose tissue. Previous studies have shown that asprosin plays a role in fasting-induced homeostasis, insulin resistance, and glucose tolerance. However, whether it can regulate the metabolism of adipose tissue itself has not been studied. This study intended to examine the roles and potential mechanisms of asprosin in adipose regulation. We first demonstrated that the expression level of asprosin was significantly downregulated in subcutaneous white adipose tissue (scWAT) of high-fat diet (HFD)-fed or cold-stimulated mice. Overexpression of asprosin in scWAT reduced heat production, decreased expression of the browning marker uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and other browning-related genes, along with upregulation of adipogenic gene expression. Mechanistically, we found that Nrf2 was activated upon cold exposure, but this activation was suppressed after asprosin overexpression. In primary cultured adipocytes, adenovirusmediated asprosin overexpression inhibited adipose browning and aggravated lipid deposition, while Nrf2 agonist oltipraz could reverse these changes. Our findings suggest that novel adipokine asprosin negatively regulated browning and elevate lipid deposition in adipose tissue via a Nrf2-mediated mechanism. Asprosin may be a promising target for the prevention and treatment of obesity and other metabolic diseases.