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Free access

G Tulipano, A V Vergoni, D Soldi, E E Muller and D Cocchi

Leptin produced by adipocytes controls body weight by restraining food intake and enhancing energy expenditure at the hypothalamic level. The diet-induced increase in fat mass is associated with the presence of elevated circulating leptin levels, suggesting the development of resistance to its anorectic effect. Rats, like humans, show different susceptibility to diet-induced obesity. The aim of the present study was to compare the degree of leptin resistance in obesity-prone (OP) vs obesity-resistant (OR) rats on a moderate high-fat (HF) diet and to establish if the effects of leptin on hypothalamo–pituitary endocrine functions were preserved. Starting from 6 weeks after birth, male Sprague–Dawley rats were fed on either a commercial HF diet (fat content: 20% of total calorie intake) or a standard pellet chow (CONT diet, fat content: 3%). After 12 weeks of diet, rats fed on HF diet were significantly heavier than rats fed on CONT diet. Animals fed on HF diet were ranked according to body weight; the two tails of the distribution were called OP and OR rats respectively. A polyethylene cannula was implanted into the right ventricle of rats 1 week before central leptin administration. After 12 weeks of HF feeding, both OR and OP rats were resistant to central leptin administration (10 μg, i.c.v.) (24 h calorie intake as a percent of vehicle-treated rats: CONT rats, 62 [50; 78]; OR, 93 [66; 118]; OP, 90 [70; 120] as medians and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of six rats for each group). Conversely, after 32 weeks of diet both OR and OP rats were partially responsive to 10 μg leptin i.c.v. as compared with CONT rats (24 h calorie intake as a percent of vehicle-treated rats: CONT rats, 60 [50; 67]; OR, 65 [50; 80]; OP, 80 [60; 98] as medians and 95% CIs of six rats for each group); the decrease of food intake following 200 μg leptin i.p. administration was similar in all the three groups (calorie intake as a percent of vehicle-treated rats: 86 [80; 92] as median and 95% CI). The long-term intake of HF diet caused hyperleptinemia, hyperinsulinemia and higher plasma glucose levels in OP rats as compared with CONT rats. Plasma thyroxine (T4) was lower in all the rats fed the HF diet as compared with CONT. i.c.v. administration of leptin after 32 weeks of diet restored normal insulin levels in OP rats. Moreover, leptin increased plasma T4 concentration and strongly enhanced GH mRNA expression in the pituitary of OP as well as OR rats (180±10% vs vehicle-treated rats). In conclusion, long-term intake of HF diet induced a partial central resistance to the anorectic effect of leptin in both lean and fat animals; the neuroendocrine effects of leptin on T4 and GH were preserved.

Free access

W Jiang, T Miyamoto, T Kakizawa, T Sakuma, S Nishio, T Takeda, S Suzuki and K Hashizume

Thyroid hormone receptors (TR) are members of the nuclear receptor superfamily. There are at least two TR isoforms, TRalpha and TRbeta, which act as mediators of thyroid hormone in tissues. However, the relative expression of each TR isoform in target tissues is still elusive. Herein, we have developed an RT-PCR and restriction enzyme digestion method to determine the expression of TRalpha1 and TRbeta1. We analyzed the expression of TR isoforms in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes induced to differentiate by an adipogenic cocktail in the presence or absence of 100 nM triiodothyronine (T(3)). The TRalpha1 isoform was predominantly expressed in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and its expression was increased at the stage of development concomitant with the emergence of lipid droplets. Little, if any, TRbeta1 mRNA was detected in adipocytes. Administration of T(3) to the differentiating 3T3-L1 cells enhanced the accumulation of triglyceride. The expression profile of TRalpha1 in T(3)-treated adipocytes was similar to that in non-treated cells. The transcripts of adipogenic factors, CCAAT/enhancer binding protein beta (C/EBPbeta) and peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma), were not altered by T(3). Lipid binding protein, aP2, that is downstream of these transcription factors was also unaffected by T(3). In contrast, the lipogenic enzyme, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase mRNA was significantly increased in the presence of T(3). Therefore, T(3) appears to be a hormone capable of modulating the expression of lipogenic enzyme and augments the accumulation of lipid droplets. We conclude that the TRalpha isoform might play an important role in the generation and maintenance of the mature adipocyte phenotype, regulating the expression of lipogenic enzymes.

Free access

Sébastien Desarzens and Nourdine Faresse

The glucocorticoids bind and activate both the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) as well as the mineralocorticoid receptor in adipocytes. Despite several studies to determine the function of these two receptors in mediating glucocorticoids effects, their relative contribution in adipose tissue expansion and obesity is unclear. To investigate the effect of GR in adipose tissue function, we generated an adipocyte-specific Gr-knockout mouse model (Gr ad-ko). These mice were submitted either to a standard diet or a high-fat high sucrose diet. We found that adipocyte-specific deletion of Gr did not affect body weight gain or adipose tissue formation and distribution. However, the lack of Gr in adipocyte promotes a diet-induced inflammation determined by higher pro-inflammatory genes expression and macrophage infiltration in the fat pads. Surprisingly, the adipose tissue inflammation in Gr ad-ko mice was not correlated with insulin resistance or dyslipidemia, but with disturbed glucose tolerance. Our data demonstrate that adipocyte-specific ablation of Gr in vivo may affect the adipose tissue function but not its expansion during a high calorie diet.

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S Yang, X Xu, P Björntorp and S Edén


The effects of growth hormone (GH) and testosterone, alone or in combination, on the regulation of lipolysis in isolated adipocytes from hypophysectomized rats were investigated. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were hypophysectomized at 50 days of age. One week after operation, hormonal replacement therapy with l-thyroxine and hydrocortisone acetate was given to hypophysectomized rats. Groups of rats were treated with GH (1·33 mg/kg, daily), testosterone (10 mg/kg, once) alone or in combination. After one week of hormonal treatment, adipocytes were isolated from the pooled epididymal and perirenal fat pads and glycerol release after isoproterenol stimulation and 125I-cyanopindolol binding was measured. Hypophysectomy caused a marked decrease in basal and isoproterenol-stimulated lipolysis. There was no effect of testosterone treatment alone on lipolysis, but GH treatment resulted in an increase in isoproterenol-induced lipolysis but not to the levels observed in cells from control rats. Testosterone and GH in combination restored the lipolytic response to isoproterenol. Also 125I-cyanopindolol binding was decreased after hypophysectomy. Testosterone treatment alone and GH treatment alone increased the binding, while in combination the treatment had an additive effect. Affinity was not changed, but the effects seemed to be on receptor number, as determined by Scatchard analysis.

Forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation in adipocytes was markedly reduced after hypophysectomy. Testosterone treatment alone had no effect. GH treatment alone increased forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation, although the level was lower than that found in control rats. The combined treatment resulted in a further increase to levels observed in adipocytes from control rats.

These results demonstrate that GH and testosterone have additive effects in the regulation of lipolysis. Both hormones increase the β-adrenergic receptor density, partly explaining this additive effect. Moreover, GH may contribute to the lipolytic response by affecting steps distal to the receptor in the lipolytic cascade.

Journal of Endocrinology (1995) 147, 147–152

Free access

Y Feuermann, S J Mabjeesh, L Niv-Spector, D Levin and A Shamay

One of the roles of the endocrine system is to synchronize mammary function. Hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin act directly on the mammary gland. Metabolic hormones, such as GH, glucocorticoids, insulin, and leptin are responsible for coordinating the body’s response to metabolic homeostasis. Leptin has been shown to be an important factor in regulating the metabolic adaptation of nutrient partitioning during the energy-consuming processes of lactation. In the present study, we show that leptin is secreted from the mammary fat, and is regulated by prolactin. The expression of α-casein in a co-culture of epithelial cells and fat explants was enhanced by prolactin compared with that in epithelial cells cultured alone. Leptin antagonist abolished the effect of leptin on α-casein expression in mammary gland explants when exogenous leptin was not present in the medium. This finding supports our hypothesis that the antagonist abolishes the action of endogenous leptin secreted by the mammary adipocytes. These results lead us to the hypothesis that prolactin and leptin act in the bovine mammary gland, via mammary fat pad/adipocytes.

Free access

A Albalat, C Liarte, S MacKenzie, L Tort, J V Planas and I Navarro

Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) is a cytokine with multiple biological functions which, in mammals, has been shown to modulate muscle and adipose tissue metabolism. In fish, TNFα has been identified in several species. However, few studies have examined the role of TNFα in fish outside the immune system. In this study, we assessed the effects of human recombinant TNFα and conditioned media from rainbow trout lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages (LPS-MCM) on lipolysis in isolated rainbow trout adipocytes. Furthermore, we studied the effects of an LPS injection in vivo on lipid metabolism. In our study, human recombinant TNFα stimulated lipolysis in trout adipocytes in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Similarly, LPS-MCM stimulated lipolysis in trout adipocytes when compared with control conditioned medium. Experiments using specific inhibitors of the MAP kinase pathway showed that p44/42 and p38 are partially involved in the lipolytic effects of TNFα. On the other hand, adipocytes from LPS-injected rainbow trout showed higher basal lipolysis than adipocytes from control fish after 24 h, while this effect was not seen at 72 h. Furthermore, lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity in adipose tissue of LPS-injected fish was lower than in the controls at 24 h. These data suggest that TNFα plays an important role in the control of lipid metabolism in rainbow trout by stimulating lipolysis in vitro and in vivo and by down-regulating LPL activity of adipose tissue in vivo.

Full access

Akiko Mizokami, Satoru Mukai, Jing Gao, Tomoyo Kawakubo-Yasukochi, Takahito Otani, Hiroshi Takeuchi, Eijiro Jimi and Masato Hirata

Osteocalcin is a bone-derived hormone that in its uncarboxylated form (GluOC) plays an important role in glucose and energy metabolism by stimulating insulin secretion and pancreatic β-cell proliferation through its putative receptor GPRC6A. We previously showed that the effect of GluOC on insulin secretion is mediated predominantly by glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) released from intestinal endocrine cells in response to GluOC stimulation. Moreover, oral administration of GluOC was found to reduce the fasting blood glucose level, to improve glucose tolerance, and to increase the fasting serum insulin concentration and β-cell area in the pancreas in wild-type mice. We have now examined the effects of oral GluOC administration for at least 4 weeks in GLP-1 receptor-knockout mice. Such administration of GluOC in the mutant mice triggered glucose intolerance, enhanced gluconeogenesis and promoted both lipid accumulation in the liver as well as adipocyte hypertrophy and inflammation in adipose tissue. Furthermore, inactivation of GLP-1 receptor signaling in association with GluOC administration induced activation of the transcription factor FoxO1 and expression of its transcriptional coactivator PGC1α in the liver, likely accounting for the observed upregulation of gluconeogenic gene expression. Our results thus indicate that the beneficial metabolic effects of GluOC are dependent on GLP-1 receptor signaling.

Free access

John-Paul Fuller-Jackson and Belinda A Henry

The balance between energy intake and energy expenditure establishes and preserves a ‘set-point’ body weight. The latter is comprised of three major components including metabolic rate, physical activity and thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is defined as the cellular dissipation of energy via heat production. This process has been extensively characterised in brown adipose tissue (BAT), wherein uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) creates a proton leak across the inner mitochondrial membrane, diverting protons away from ATP synthesis and resulting in heat dissipation. In beige adipocytes and skeletal muscle, thermogenesis can occur independent of UCP1. Beige adipocytes have been shown to produce heat via UCP1 as well as via both futile creatine and calcium cycling pathways. On the other hand, the UCP1 homologue UCP3 is abundant in skeletal muscle and post-prandial thermogenesis has been associated with UCP3 and the futile calcium cycling. This review will focus on the differential contributions of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle in determining total thermogenic output and energy expenditure in large mammals. Sheep and pigs do not have a circumscribed brown fat depot but rather possess white fat depots that contain brown and beige adipocytes interspersed amongst white adipose tissue. This is representative of humans, where brown, beige and white adipocytes have been identified in the neck and supraclavicular regions. This review will describe the mechanisms of thermogenesis in pigs and sheep and the relative roles of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue thermogenesis in controlling body weight in larger mammals.

Free access

Bohan Wang, I Stuart Wood and Paul Trayhurn

The effect of hypoxia on the expression and secretion of major adipokines by human preadipocytes has been examined. Hypoxia (1% O2) led to an increase in the HIF-1α transcription factor subunit in cultured preadipocytes, as did incubation with the hypoxia mimetic CoCl2. Leptin mRNA was essentially undetectable in preadipocytes incubated under normoxia (21% O2), but exposure to 1% O2, or CoCl2, for 4 or 24 h resulted in an induction of leptin gene expression (measured by real-time PCR). Immunoreactive leptin was not detected in the medium from normoxic preadipocytes, but was present in the medium from the hypoxic cells. Hypoxia stimulated expression of the GLUT-1 facilitative glucose transporter gene and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene in preadipocytes, as in adipocytes. PPARγ and aP2 mRNA levels, markers of adipocyte differentiation, were reduced by hypoxia in both cell types. In marked contrast to adipocytes, interleukin-6 (IL-6), angiopoietin-like protein 4, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 expression by preadipocytes was not stimulated by low O2 tension. Consistent with the gene expression results, VEGF release into the medium from preadipocytes was increased by hypoxia, but there was no change in IL-6 secretion. It is concluded that hypoxia induces human preadipocytes to synthesize and secrete leptin. Preadipocytes and adipocytes differ in their responsiveness to low O2 tension, maturation of the response to hypoxia developing on differentiation.

Free access

Juan Kong, Yunzi Chen, Guojun Zhu, Qun Zhao and Yan Chun Li

Leptin is an adipose tissue-derived hormone that plays a critical role in energy homeostasis. Vitamin D has been shown to regulate energy metabolism, but the relationship between vitamin D and leptin is unclear. Leptin expression and secretion was reduced in vitamin D receptor (VDR)-null mice and increased in transgenic (Tg) mice overexpressing the VDR in adipocytes; however, as leptin is mainly determined by fat mass, it is unclear whether the vitamin D hormone directly regulates leptin expression. To address this question, we determined the effect of vitamin D on leptin expression in vivo and ex vivo. One-week treatment of WT mice with the vitamin D analog RO-27-5646 led to a significant increase in adipose leptin mRNA transcript and serum leptin levels. Moreover, in adipose tissue cultures, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D markedly stimulated mRNA expression and secretion of leptin, but not resistin, in adipose tissues obtained from WT mice, but not from VDR-null mice, and leptin upregulation induced by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D was more robust in adipose tissues obtained from VDR Tg mice compared with WT mice. These data demonstrate that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D stimulates adipose leptin production in a VDR-dependent manner, suggesting that vitamin D may affect energy homeostasis through direct regulation of leptin expression.