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HH Zhang, S Kumar, AH Barnett and MC Eggo

Adipocytes contain large lipid droplets in their cytoplasm. When cultured, they float on top of the medium, clump together, and do not gain equal and sufficient access to the medium. Morphological changes cannot be observed and the majority of adipocytes undergo cell lysis within 72 h of isolation. We have used a ceiling culture method for human mature adipocytes which uses their buoyant property to allow them to adhere to a floating glass surface, where they remain viable for several weeks. Using confocal immunofluorescence microscopy we showed the cellular expression and subcellular localization of leptin in ceiling-cultured adipocytes. The secretion of leptin was increased from ceiling cultures following tumour necrosis factor-alpha treatment. Proliferation of mature human adipocytes in serum-containing medium was demonstrated by incorporation of bromodeoxyuridine, 2% of adipocytes showing positive incorporation after 4 h labelling. Proliferation was also evident from the budding of daughter cells. Apoptosis in the ceiling cultures was increased by 48 h serum deprivation (30-35 vs 10-15% in the control) and was assayed by propidium iodide staining and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-fluorescein nick-end labelling. Lipolysis, analysed by liquid scintillation counting, was increased by forskolin (10 microM for 90 min) and lipogenesis, shown by autoradiography, was stimulated by insulin (10 and 100 nM for 4 h). These findings indicate that ceiling-cultured adipocytes maintain adipocyte-specific functions and that ceiling culture, which overcomes the shortcomings of adipocyte suspension culture, can be used to study adipocyte cell biology.

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Olena A Fedorenko, Pawitra Pulbutr, Elin Banke, Nneoma E Akaniro-Ejim, Donna C Bentley, Charlotta S Olofsson, Sue Chan and Paul A Smith

L-type channel antagonists are of therapeutic benefit in the treatment of hyperlipidaemia and insulin resistance. Our aim was to identify L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in white fat adipocytes, and determine if they affect intracellular Ca2+, lipolysis and lipogenesis. We used a multidisciplinary approach of molecular biology, confocal microscopy, Ca2+ imaging and metabolic assays to explore this problem using adipocytes isolated from adult rat epididymal fat pads. CaV1.2, CaV1.3 and CaV1.1 alpha1, beta and alpha2delta subunits were detected at the gene expression level. The CaV1.2 and CaV1.3 alpha1 subunits were identified in the plasma membrane at the protein level. Confocal microscopy with fluorescent antibodies labelled CaV1.2 in the plasma membrane. Ca2+ imaging revealed that the intracellular Ca2+ concentration, [Ca2 +]i was reversibly decreased by removal of extracellular Ca2+, an effect mimicked by verapamil, nifedipine and Co2+, all blockers of L-type channels, whereas the Ca2+ channel agonist BAY-K8644 increased [Ca2+]i. The finding that the magnitude of these effects correlated with basal [Ca2+]i suggests that adipocyte [Ca2+]i is controlled by L-type Ca2+ channels that are constitutively active at the adipocyte depolarized membrane potential. Pharmacological manipulation of L-type channel activity modulated both basal and catecholamine-stimulated lipolysis but not insulin-induced glucose uptake or lipogenesis. We conclude that white adipocytes have constitutively active L-type Ca2+ channels which explains their sensitivity of lipolysis to Ca2+ channel modulators. Our data suggest CaV1.2 as a potential novel therapeutic target in the treatment of obesity.

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Sujith Rajan, Kripa Shankar, Muheeb Beg, Salil Varshney, Abhishek Gupta, Ankita Srivastava, Durgesh Kumar, Raj K Mishra, Zakir Hussain, Jiaur R Gayen and Anil N Gaikwad

The growing pandemics of diabetes have become a real threat to world economy. Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance are closely associated with the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes. In pretext of brown adipocytes being considered as the therapeutic strategy for the treatment of obesity and insulin resistance, we have tried to understand the effect of hyperinsulinemia on brown adipocyte function. We here with for the first time report that hyperinsulinemia-induced insulin resistance in brown adipocyte is also accompanied with reduced insulin sensitivity and brown adipocyte characteristics. CI treatment decreased expression of brown adipocyte-specific markers (such as PRDM16, PGC1α, and UCP1) and mitochondrial content as well as activity. CI-treated brown adipocytes showed drastic decrease in oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and spare respiratory capacity. Morphological study indicates increased accumulation of lipid droplets in CI-treated brown adipocytes. We have further validated these findings in vivo in C57BL/6 mice implanted with mini-osmotic insulin pump for 8weeks. CI treatment in mice leads to increased body weight gain, fat mass and impaired glucose intolerance with reduced energy expenditure and insulin sensitivity. CI-treated mice showed decreased BAT characteristics and function. We also observed increased inflammation and ER stress markers in BAT of CI-treated animals. The above results conclude that hyperinsulinemia has deleterious effect on brown adipocyte function, making it susceptible to insulin resistance. Thus, the above findings have greater implication in designing approaches for the treatment of insulin resistance and diabetes via recruitment of brown adipocytes.

Free access

I Louveau and F Gondret

The ability of GH to decrease fatness and insulin-regulated events such as lipogenic enzyme activities is well known in pigs. Nevertheless, the precise mechanism underlying these actions has not been elucidated yet. Expression of the transcription factor sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP)-1 has been reported as a key mediator of insulin action in rat hepatocytes and adipose cell lines. The present study aimed to determine whether the regulation of lipogenesis by GH and/or insulin in porcine adipocytes also involved SREBP-1. Isolated adipocytes, obtained from perirenal or s.c. adipose tissue samples of female pigs (51+/-0.4 kg; n=17), were cultured in serum-free medium in the absence or presence of these hormones for up to 4 days. Glucose incorporation and fatty acid synthase activity were increased by insulin in a dose-dependent manner in adipocytes of both sites. The increase was maximal at 1.7 and 17 nM in s.c. and perirenal adipocytes respectively, suggesting inter-depot differences in the regulation of lipogenesis by insulin. These insulin-stimulated events were decreased by GH (1 nM). No change in SREBP-1 mRNA levels was observed in response to GH and/or insulin. Taken together, these data indicate that the regulation of lipogenesis by insulin and GH appears to not involve changes in SREBP-1 mRNA levels in porcine adipocytes.

Free access

Rengasamy Palanivel, Vivian Vu, Min Park, Xiangping Fang and Gary Sweeney

The causal relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease is extensively acknowledged; however, the exact mechanisms linking obesity and heart failure remain unclear. Here, we investigated the influence of adipokines derived from primary adipocytes on glucose and fatty acid uptake and metabolism in isolated primary cardiomyocytes. Either co-culture of these cell types or incubation with adipocyte-conditioned medium significantly increased glucose uptake in cardiomyocytes. When streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were used as a source of adipocytes, there was a lower ability to elicit glucose uptake in cardiomyocytes which corresponded with lower Akt and AMPK phosphorylation. The profile of glucose metabolism also differed with oxidation being favored upon co-culture with wild-type adipocytes whereas lactate production was strongly induced by adipocytes from diabetic rats. Examination of fatty acid uptake revealed that stimulation only occurred in response to adipokines secreted by wild-type rat adipocytes. Importantly, oxidation of fatty acids by cardiomyocytes was decreased by adipokines derived from diabetic rat adipocytes. Analysis of adipokine profiles in diabetic rat adipocyte-conditioned medium demonstrated the most significant decreases in adiponectin and leptin with increased IL6 expression. Taken together, these data suggest that the profile of adipokines secreted by adipocytes from diabetic rats have a deleterious influence on cardiomyocyte metabolism which may be of relevance in the pathophysiology of heart failure.

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Ewa Ocłoń, Anna Latacz, Joanna Zubel–Łojek and Krystyna Pierzchała–Koziec

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of molecular posttranscriptional regulators found to participate in numerous biological mechanisms, such as adipogenesis, fat deposition, or glucose metabolism. Additionally, a detailed analysis on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of miRNA-related effects on metabolism leads to developing novel diagnostic markers and therapeutic approaches. To identify miRNA whose activity changed in epicardial adipose tissue in piglets during hyperglycemia, we analyzed the different miRNA expression patterns between control and hyperglycemia groups. The microarray analysis selected three differentially expressed microRNAs as potential biomarkers: hsa-miR-675-5p, ssc-miR-193a-3p, and hsa-miR-144-3p. The validation of miRNA expression with real-time PCR indicated an increased expression levels of ssc-miR-193a-3p and miR-675-5p, whereas the expression level of hsa-miR-144-3p was lower in epicardial adipose tissue in response to hyperglycemia (P<0.01). The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analyses suggested that these miRNAs differentially expressed between hyperglycemic and control piglets are involved in insulin, adipocytokine, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase–Akt signaling pathways, and development of type 2 diabetes as well. The results suggested that hyperglycemia can significantly affect the expression patterns of miRNA in porcine adipose tissue.

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S Kralisch, U Lossner, M Bluher, R Paschke, M Stumvoll and M Fasshauer

Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 is an adipocytokine upregulated in obesity which might promote adipose tissue development. In the current study, the impact of the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol on TIMP-1 gene expression and secretion was determined in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Interestingly, isoproterenol increased TIMP-1 secretion 2.7-fold. Furthermore, isoproterenol induced TIMP-1 mRNA in a time- and dose-dependent fashion with significant effects observed as early as 1 h after effector addition and at concentrations as low as 1 μM isoproterenol. Significant isoproterenol-induced upregulation of TIMP-1 mRNA could also be found in immortalized brown adipocytes. Inhibitor experiments confirmed that the positive effect of isoproterenol on TIMP-1 is mediated via β-adrenergic receptors and protein kinase A. Moreover, increasing cAMP levels with forskolin or dibutyryl-cAMP was sufficient to stimulate TIMP-1 synthesis. Insulin induced basal TIMP-1 mRNA, but did not significantly influence forskolin-induced TIMP-1 expression. Taken together, we demonstrate that TIMP-1 expression and secretion are selectively upregulated in adipocytes by β-adrenergic agonists via a classic Gs-protein-coupled pathway.

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Maria Namwanje, Longhua Liu, Michelle Chan, Nikki Aaron, Michael J Kraakman and Li Qiang

Fat remodeling has been extensively explored through protein deacetylation, but not yet acetylation, as a viable therapeutic approach in the management of obesity and related metabolic disorders. Here, we investigated the functions of key acetyltransferases CBP/p300 in adipose remodeling and their physiological effects by generating adipose-specific deletion of CBP (Cbp-AKO), p300 (p300-AKO) and double-knockout (Cbp/p300-AKO) models. We demonstrated that Cbp-AKO exhibited marked brown remodeling of inguinal WAT (iWAT) but not epididymal WAT (eWAT) after cold exposure and that this pattern was exaggerated in diet-induced obesity (DIO). Despite this striking browning phenotype, loss of Cbp was insufficient to impact body weight or glucose tolerance. In contrast, ablation of p300 in adipose tissues had minimal effects on fat remodeling and adiposity. Surprisingly, double-knockout mice (Cbp/p300-AKO) developed severe lipodystrophy along with marked hepatic steatosis, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Furthermore, we demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of Cbp and p300 activity suppressed adipogenesis. Collectively, these data suggest that (i) CBP, but not p300, has distinct functions in regulating fat remodeling and that this occurs in a depot-selective manner; (ii) brown remodeling occurs independently of the improvements in glucose metabolism and obesity and (iii) the combined roles of CBP and p300 are indispensable for normal adipose development.

Free access

Miriam Thomalla, Andreas Schmid, Elena Neumann, Petra Ina Pfefferle, Ulf Müller-Ladner, Andreas Schäffler and Thomas Karrasch

Adipocytes express various pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and actively participate in anti-bacterial and anti-viral host defence. Obesity is associated with adipose tissue PRR expression. The potential role of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) in adipocytes has not yet been investigated. Here, we evaluated TLR9 expression during adipocyte differentiation (AD) of 3T3-L1 adipocytes, in primary murine adipocytes and in different murine and human adipose tissue depots by real-time PCR, immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry. TLR9 expression was inhibited using specific siRNA-mediated knockdown, and TLR9 signaling was induced using specific class A, B and C agonistic CpG-oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) treatment vs ODN controls in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and in primary murine adipocytes from Tlr9wt/wt vs Tlr9−/− mice. We found that TLR9 gene expression is induced during AD and that TLR9 protein is expressed in murine gonadal and human visceral adipocytes. AD depends on intact TLR9 expression. Tlr9−/− mice demonstrate significantly reduced adiponectin serum levels, while siRNA-mediated TLR9 knockdown led to reduced adiponectin mRNA expression in adipocytes. TLR9 ligands (CpG-ODNs) inhibit pro-inflammatory resistin secretion in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Tlr9−/− as compared to Tlr9wt/wt adipocytes exhibit increased resistin and MCP1 secretion and reduced adiponectin secretion into cell culture supernatants, while TLR9 ligands (ODNs) show differential effects in Tlr9−/− vs Tlr9wt/wt primary murine adipocytes. TLR9 expression is significantly increased in visceral compared to subcutaneous adipose tissue depots in non-diabetic obese patients and correlates with systemic resistin levels in a compartment-specific manner. Thus, adipocytic TLR9 is a putative, new protective factor during (obesity-associated) adipose tissue inflammation.

Free access

Caroline Davidge-Pitts, Carlos J Escande and Cheryl A Conover

Fat distribution differs between individuals, and those with visceral fat predominance develop metabolic profiles that increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular events. This is due, in part, to the proinflammatory state associated with visceral obesity as well as depot-specific adipogenesis. The IGF system is important in adipose tissue development and metabolic function. Pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPPA) is a novel zinc metalloproteinase that regulates local IGF availability. The first aim of this study was to characterize PAPPA mRNA and protein expression in primary cultures of human preadipocytes isolated from omental, mesenteric, and subcutaneous depots. PAPPA expression was significantly increased in omental preadipocytes compared with mesenteric and subcutaneous preadipocytes. The second aim of this study was to investigate the factors regulating PAPPA expression, focusing on proinflammatory cytokines and resveratrol that have been shown to have negative and positive effects, respectively, on metabolism and diet-induced obesity. Treatment of cultured primary human preadipocytes with tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 1β led to significant increases in PAPPA expression. Activated pathways mediating cytokine-induced PAPPA expression include the nuclear factor κB pathway and the MAPK family, particularly c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase and p38 MAPK. Resveratrol, a polyphenolic compound with beneficial cardiometabolic effects, significantly downregulated PAPPA expression under basal and stimulated conditions. Effects of resveratrol on PAPPA appeared to be mediated through pathways independent of silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 (SIRT1) and AMP kinase activation. Depot-specific PAPPA expression in human preadipocytes may contribute to a depot-specific function.