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Hui Yu, Zoe Thompson, Sylee Kiran, Graham L Jones, Lakshmi Mundada, Surbhi, Marcelo Rubinstein and Malcolm J Low

Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) are essential for normal energy homeostasis. Maximal ARC Pomc transcription is dependent on neuronal Pomc enhancer 1 (nPE1), located 12 kb upstream from the promoter. Selective deletion of nPE1 in mice decreases ARC Pomc expression by 70%, sufficient to induce mild obesity. Because nPE1 is located exclusively in the genomes of placental mammals, we questioned whether its hypomorphic mutation would also alter placental Pomc expression and the metabolic adaptations associated with pregnancy and lactation. We assessed placental development, pup growth, circulating leptin and expression of Pomc, Agrp and alternatively spliced leptin receptor (LepR) isoforms in the ARC and placenta of Pomc∆1/∆1 and Pomc+/+ dams. Despite indistinguishable body weights, lean mass, food intake, placental histology and Pomc expression and overall pregnancy outcomes between the genotypes, Pomc ∆1/∆1 females had increased pre-pregnancy fat mass that paradoxically decreased to control levels by parturition. However, Pomc∆1/∆1 dams had exaggerated increases in circulating leptin, up to twice of that of the typically elevated levels in Pomc+/+ mice at the end of pregnancy, despite their equivalent fat mass. Pomc∆1/∆1dams also had increased placental expression of soluble leptin receptor (LepRe), although the protein levels of LEPRE in circulation were the same as Pomc+/+ controls. Together, these data suggest that the hypomorphic Pomc∆1/∆1 allele is responsible for the perinatal super hyperleptinemia of Pomc∆1/∆1 dams, possibly due to upregulated leptin secretion from individual adipocytes.

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AnneMarie Gagnon, Anne Landry and Alexander Sorisky

To clarify how anti-adipogenic factors act on preadipocytes to inhibit their differentiation, we compared preadipocyte signaling responses generated by platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF; anti-adipogenic) versus insulin (pro-adipogenic). PDGF, but not insulin, stimulated the phosphorylation of inhibitor of κB kinase β (IKKβ) in a time-dependent manner. This PDGF-dependent phosphorylation event was inhibited by 60% (P<0.05) when the cells were pretreated with wortmannin, indicating a requirement for the phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase/AKT pathway. IKKβ phosphorylation by PDGF was neither accompanied by IκBα degradation nor NF-κB activation. PDGF inhibited human adipocyte differentiation, assessed by triacylglycerol accumulation (75% reduction; P<0.01) and by fatty acid synthase protein expression (60% reduction; P<0.05); these responses were no longer apparent in the presence of sc-514, a selective inhibitor of IKKβ. Our data describe a novel PDGF response in human preadipocytes that involves the pro-inflammatory kinase IKKβ and demonstrate that it is required for the inhibition of adipogenesis.

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Yuichi Kikuchi, Muneharu Yamada, Toshihiko Imakiire, Taketoshi Kushiyama, Keishi Higashi, Naomi Hyodo, Kojiro Yamamoto, Takashi Oda, Shigenobu Suzuki and Soichiro Miura

Fasudil, a Rho-kinase inhibitor, may improve insulin signaling. However, its long-term effect on metabolic abnormalities and its preventive effect on diabetic nephropathy are still unknown. We assessed these effects of fasudil in insulin-resistant diabetic rats, comparing them with those of an angiotensin II receptor blocker, olmesartan. Male Otsuka Long–Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) and Long–Evans Tokushima Otsuka, non-diabetic control, rats at 15 weeks of age were used. OLETF rats were randomized to receive a low or a high dose of fasudil or olmesartan for 25 weeks. To examine the therapeutic effects after the development of diabetes, OLETF rats at 30 weeks of age were given fasudil for 10 weeks. Administration of high-dose fasudil completely suppressed the development of diabetes, obesity, and dyslipidemia and increased serum adiponectin levels in OLETF rats. High-dose olmesartan also decreased hemoglobin A1c and increased serum adiponectin. There was a significant correlation between hemoglobin A1c and serum adiponectin or free fatty acid levels. The treatment with high-dose fasudil ameliorated proteinuria, glomerulosclerosis, renal interstitial fibrosis, and macrophage infiltration in OLETF rats. Olmesartan, even at the low dose, suppressed renal complications. The treatment with fasudil after the development of diabetes improved the metabolic abnormalities in OLETF rats, but could not suppress the progression of nephropathy. We conclude that the long-term treatment with fasudil prevents the development of diabetes, at least in part, by improving adipocyte differentiation in insulin-resistant diabetic rats. Early use of fasudil may prevent diabetic nephropathy.

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KW Siddals, M Westwood, JM Gibson and A White

IGF action in vivo is acutely regulated by IGF-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) and its phosphorylation state is implicated in modulating these effects. Since IGFs have an important regulatory role in adipocyte function, we investigated the effects of phosphorylated IGFBP-1 (pIGFBP-1) and non-phosphorylated IGFBP-1 (npIGF BP-1) on 3T3-L1 preadipocyte proliferation and adipocyte metabolism. IGFs stimulated clonal expansion of 3T3-L1 cells (IGF-I more potently than IGF-II (EC(50): 30 nM and 50 nM)). npIGFBP-1 inhibited IGF-I (50 nM) clonal expansion at a 5:1 molar ratio (P<0.01), whereas pIGFBP-1 (purified from HepG2 cell medium) abolished clonal expansion at a 1:1 molar ratio (P<0.005). In contrast, IGF-II-induced clonal expansion was inhibited 100% at a 1:1 molar ratio of npIGFBP-1. In mature adipocytes, IGF-I was equipotent with insulin in stimulating glucose uptake (EC(50): 10 nM) and inhibiting isoproterenol-induced lipolysis (EC(50): 15 nM). npIGFBP-1 completely reversed IGF-I effects at a 1:1 molar ratio (P<0.01). In summary, IGFs rather than insulin are potent regulators of clonal expansion in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Importantly, IGFs are equipotent with insulin in regulating adipocyte metabolism. IGFBP-1 inhibits IGF effects on preadipocyte proliferation and adipocyte metabolism, with pIGFBP-1 being more potent than npIGFBP-1 at inhibiting mitogenic actions. Since IGFBP-1 is acutely regulated by insulin, this could have important consequences in hyperinsulinaemic and insulin-resistant states.

Open access

Gulizar Issa Ameen and Silvia Mora

Obesity leads to adipose tissue dysfunction, insulin resistance and diabetes. Adipose tissue produces adipokines that contribute to regulate insulin sensitivity. In turn, insulin stimulates the production and release of some adipokines. Casitas-b-lymphoma proteins (c-Cbl, Cbl-b and Cbl3) are intracellular adaptor signalling proteins that are rapidly phosphorylated by activation of tyrosine kinase receptors. c-Cbl is rapidly phosphorylated by insulin in adipocytes. Here, we tested the hypothesis that Cbl signalling regulates adipokine expression in adipose tissue. We determined the adipokine profile of WAT of Cbl−/− and Cbl+/+ mice in the C57BL6 background. Female Cbl−/− mice exhibited altered expression of adiponectin, leptin and RBP4 in visceral adipose tissue, while no significant changes were seen in male mice. TNFα and IL6 levels were unaffected by Cbl depletion. RBP4 expression was unchanged in liver. Adipose tissue of Cbl−/− animals showed increased basal activation of extracellular regulated kinases (ERK1/2) compared to Cbl+/+. c-Cbl knockdown in 3T3L1 adipocytes also increased basal ERK phosphorylation and RBP4 expression. Inhibition of ERK1/2 phosphorylation in Cbl-depleted 3T3L1 adipocytes or in adipose tissue explants of Cbl−/− mice reduced RBP4 mRNA. 17β-Estradiol increased RBP4 mRNA in adipocytes. Cbl depletion did not change ER expression but increased phosphorylation of ERα at S118, a target site for ERK1/2. ERK1/2 inhibition reduced phosphoER and RBP4 levels. These findings suggest that Cbl contributes to regulate RBP4 expression in adipose of female mice through ERK1/2-mediated activation of ERα. Since Cbl signalling is compromised in diabetes, these data highlight a novel mechanism that upregulates RBP4 locally.

Free access

M Fasshauer, J Klein, S Krahlisch, U Lossner, M Klier, M Bluher and R Paschke

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha-induced adipose-related protein (TIARP) has recently been cloned as a TNFalpha-stimulated protein expressed in adipocytes. Its expression is differentiation-dependent and potentially involved in mediating TNFalpha-induced insulin resistance. To further characterize regulation of TIARP gene expression, 3T3-L1 adipocytes were treated with key hormones modulating insulin sensitivity and influencing adipocyte metabolism, and TIARP gene expression was determined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Interestingly, TIARP mRNA expression was stimulated almost 9-fold after 500 ng/ml GH were added for 16 h whereas addition of 10 microM isoproterenol, 100 nM insulin and 100 nM dexamethasone for 16 h significantly decreased TIARP gene expression to between 35 and 50% of control levels. In contrast, angiotensin 2 (10 microM) and triiodothyronine (1 microM) did not have any effect. The stimulatory effect of GH was time- and dose-dependent with stimulation occurring as early as 1 h after effector addition and at concentrations as low as 5 ng/ml GH. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of Janus kinase 2 and p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase reversed the stimulatory effect of GH, suggesting that both signaling molecules are involved in activation of TIARP gene expression by GH. Furthermore, an increase of TIARP mRNA could be completely reversed to control levels by withdrawal of GH for 24 h. Taken together, these results show that TIARP is not only responsive to TNFalpha but also to important other hormones influencing glucose homeostasis and adipocyte metabolism. Thus, this factor may play an integrative role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and its link to obesity.

Free access

Simon Lecoutre, Barbara Deracinois, Christine Laborie, Delphine Eberlé, Céline Guinez, Polina E Panchenko, Jean Lesage, Didier Vieau, Claudine Junien, Anne Gabory and Christophe Breton

According to the Developmental Origin of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept, alterations of nutrient supply in the fetus or neonate result in long-term programming of individual body weight (BW) setpoint. In particular, maternal obesity, excessive nutrition, and accelerated growth in neonates have been shown to sensitize offspring to obesity. The white adipose tissue may represent a prime target of metabolic programming induced by maternal obesity. In order to unravel the underlying mechanisms, we have developed a rat model of maternal obesity using a high-fat (HF) diet (containing 60% lipids) before and during gestation and lactation. At birth, newborns from obese dams (called HF) were normotrophs. However, HF neonates exhibited a rapid weight gain during lactation, a key period of adipose tissue development in rodents. In males, increased BW at weaning (+30%) persists until 3months of age. Nine-month-old HF male offspring was normoglycemic but showed mild glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinemia, and hypercorticosteronemia. Despite no difference in BW and energy intake, HF adult male offspring was predisposed to fat accumulation showing increased visceral (gonadal and perirenal) depots weights and hyperleptinemia. However, only perirenal adipose tissue depot exhibited marked adipocyte hypertrophy and hyperplasia with elevated lipogenic (i.e. sterol-regulated element binding protein 1 (Srebp1), fatty acid synthase (Fas), and leptin) and diminished adipogenic (i.e. peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparγ), 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-Hds1)) mRNA levels. By contrast, very few metabolic variations were observed in HF female offspring. Thus, maternal obesity and accelerated growth during lactation program offspring for higher adiposity via transcriptional alterations of visceral adipose tissue in a depot- and sex-specific manner.

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S. C. Butterwith and C. Goddard


Adipose tissue growth can occur by both hypertrophy and hyperplasia. The capacity for adipocyte hyperplasia in vivo resides in a population of fibroblast-like adipocyte precursor cells but the regulation of the proliferation of these cells by growth factors has not been well characterized. This study was designed to determine the effects of the insulin-like growth factors (IGF-I and IGF-II), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) added alone or together on the proliferation of primary adipocyte precursor cells in vitro. Adipocyte precursor cell proliferation measured by [3H]thymidine incorporation into DNA was stimulated by all of these growth factors and was particularly marked with PDGF. IGF-I or IGF-II added together with TGF-β1 produced a greater than additive response and the effect of PDGF was synergistic with that of IGF-I at certain concentrations.

Stimulation of proliferation of some cell types by TGF-β has been linked to the secondary production of PDGF but the evidence we have suggests that this is unlikely in chicken adipocyte precursors. DNA synthesis in response to TGF-β1 required only a short exposure to the peptide, and conditioned medium from chicken adipocyte precursor cells previously exposed to TGF-β had no effect on DNA synthesis when added to fresh batches of cells. Addition of TGF-β1 together with PDGF produced a synergistic effect whereas an additive effect would be expected if PDGF mediated the effect of TGF-β1.

IGF-I mRNA is expressed in the Ob 1771 preadipocyte cell line during differentiation, in stromalvascular cells from adipose tissue, and TGF-β mRNA is expressed in both proliferating and differentiating 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Together with the data presented here, this would indicate that these peptides have a role in adipocyte development by an autocrine or paracrine mechanism although the source of PDGF in vivo is at present unknown.

Journal of Endocrinology (1991) 131, 203–209

Free access

B Gálvez-Prieto, J Bolbrinker, P Stucchi, A I de las Heras, B Merino, S Arribas, M Ruiz-Gayo, M Huber, M Wehland, R Kreutz and M S Fernandez-Alfonso

Recent studies have demonstrated that the rat adipose tissue expresses some of the components necessary for the production of angiotensin II (Ang II) and the receptors mediating its actions. The aim of this work is to characterize the expression of the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) components in perivascular adipose tissue and to assess differences in the expression pattern depending on the vascular bed and type of adipose tissue. We analyzed Ang I and Ang II levels as well as mRNA levels of RAS components by a quantitative RT-PCR method in periaortic (PAT) and mesenteric adipose tissue (MAT) of 3-month-old male Wistar–Kyoto rats. PAT was identified as brown adipose tissue expressing uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1). It had smaller adipocytes than those from MAT, which was identified as white adipose tissue. All RAS components, except renin, were detected in both PAT and MAT. Levels of expression of angiotensinogen, Ang-converting enzyme (ACE), and ACE2 were similar between PAT and MAT. Renin receptor expression was five times higher, whereas expression of chymase, AT1a, and AT2 receptors were significantly lower in PAT compared with MAT respectively. In addition, three isoforms of the AT1a receptor were found in perivascular adipose tissue. The AT1b receptor was found at very a low expression level. Ang II levels were higher in MAT with no differences between tissues in Ang I. The results show that the RAS is differentially expressed in white and brown perivascular adipose tissues implicating a different role for the system depending on the vascular bed and the type of adipose tissue.

Free access

RB Ceddia, William WN Jr, FB Lima and R Curi

Leptin is an adipocyte hormone involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Generally accepted biological effects of leptin are inhibition of food intake and stimulation of metabolic rate in ob/ob mice, that are defective in the leptin gene. In contrast to these centrally mediated effects of leptin, we are reporting here on leptin effects on glucose incorporation into lipids and glucose decarboxylation in adipocytes isolated from male lean albino rats. Adipocytes previously cultivated (15 h) in the presence of leptin presented a 25% (P < 0.05) reduction of the insulin stimulated incorporation of glucose into lipids. Concurrently, the basal conversion of (U-14C)D-glucose into 14CO2 increased (110%) in the leptin cultivated adipocytes and reached values (1.54 nmol/10(5) cells) similar to the insulin stimulated group (not cultivated with leptin) (1.40 nmol/10(5) cells). In addition, in the presence of insulin, the leptin cultivated adipocytes elicited a 162% (P < 0.05) increase in 14CO2 production that was significantly higher than the increase observed for the not-leptin-cultivated insulin group (92%). We conclude that leptin: 1) directly inhibits the insulin stimulated glucose incorporation into lipids; 2) stimulates glucose decarboxylation, and also potentiates the effect of insulin on glucose decarboxylation in isolated adipocytes. Leptin per se does not alter glucose incorporation into lipids.