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J Cornish
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KE Callon
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U Bava
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C Lin
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D Naot
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BL Hill
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N Broom
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DE Myers
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IR Reid
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Fat mass is an important determinant of bone density, but the mechanism of this relationship is uncertain. Leptin, as a circulating peptide of adipocyte origin, is a potential contributor to this relationship. Recently it was shown that intracerebroventricular administration of leptin is associated with bone loss, suggesting that obesity should be associated with low bone mass, the opposite of what is actually found. Since leptin originates in the periphery, an examination of its direct effects on bone is necessary to address this major discrepancy. Leptin (>10(-11) m) increased proliferation of isolated fetal rat osteoblasts comparably with IGF-I, and these cells expressed the signalling form of the leptin receptor. In mouse bone marrow cultures, leptin (>or=10(-11) m) inhibited osteoclastogenesis, but it had no effect on bone resorption in two assays of mature osteoclasts. Systemic administration of leptin to adult male mice (20 injections of 43 micro g/day over 4 weeks) reduced bone fragility (increased work to fracture by 27% and displacement to fracture by 21%, P<0.001). Changes in tibial histomorphometry were not statistically significant apart from an increase in growth plate thickness in animals receiving leptin. Leptin stimulated proliferation of isolated chondrocytes, and these cells also expressed the signalling form of the leptin receptor. It is concluded that the direct bone effects of leptin tend to reduce bone fragility and could contribute to the high bone mass and low fracture rates of obesity. When administered systemically, the direct actions of leptin outweigh its centrally mediated effects on bone, the latter possibly being mediated by leptin's regulation of insulin sensitivity.

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Xiong Weng Division of Cellular and Systems Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, UK

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Hao Jiang Gene Expression and Regulation, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, UK

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David J Walker Division of Cellular and Systems Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, UK

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Houjiang Zhou MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, School of Life Sciences, Dundee, Scotland, UK

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De Lin Drug Discovery Unit, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, UK

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Jing Wang Science for Life Laboratory, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences (BKV), Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

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Li Kang Division of Cellular and Systems Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, UK

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CD44, a cell surface adhesion receptor and stem cell biomarker, is recently implicated in chronic metabolic diseases. Ablation of CD44 ameliorates adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity. Here, we investigated cell type-specific CD44 expression in human and mouse adipose tissue and further studied how CD44 in preadipocytes regulates adipocyte function. Using Crispr Cas9-mdediated gene deletion and lentivirus-mediated gene re-expression, we discovered that deletion of CD44 promotes adipocyte differentiation and adipogenesis, whereas re-expression of CD44 abolishes this effect and decreases insulin responsiveness and adiponectin secretion in 3T3-L1 cells. Mechanistically, CD44 does so via suppressing Pparg expression. Using quantitative proteomics analysis, we further discovered that cell cycle-regulated pathways were mostly decreased by deletion of CD44. Indeed, re-expression of CD44 moderately restored expression of proteins involved in all phases of the cell cycle. These data were further supported by increased preadipocyte proliferation rates in CD44-deficient cells and re-expression of CD44 diminished this effect. Our data suggest that CD44 plays a crucial role in regulating adipogenesis and adipocyte function possibly through regulating PPARγ and cell cycle-related pathways. This study provides evidence for the first time that CD44 expressed in preadipocytes plays key roles in regulating adipocyte function outside immune cells where CD44 is primarily expressed. Therefore, targeting CD44 in (pre)adipocytes may provide therapeutic potential to treat obesity-associated metabolic complications.

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