Exposure to sunlight may limit cardiometabolic risk. In our previous studies, regular exposure to sub-erythemal (non-burning) ultraviolet radiation (UVR) reduced signs of adiposity and cardiometabolic dysfunction in mice fed a high-fat diet. Some of the observed effects were dependent on skin release of nitric oxide after UVR exposure. Here, we examine the effects of sub-erythemal UVR on signs of adiposity and metabolic dysfunction in already overweight mice, comparing the effects of two sunlamps with distinct emitted light spectra. Mice were fed a high-fat diet from 8 weeks of age, with UVR administered twice a week from 14 weeks of age until they were killed at 20 weeks of age. Mice were irradiated with the same dose of UVB radiation (1 kJ/m2) from either FS40 (65% UVB, 35% UVA) or CLEO (4% UVB, 96% UVA) sunlamps, but substantially more UVA from the latter. FS40 UVR (but not CLEO UVR) significantly reduced mouse weights and weight gain, compared to mice fed a high-fat diet (only). These effects were dependent on nitric oxide. Conversely, CLEO UVR (but not FS40 UVR) significantly reduced circulating LDL cholesterol. Both light sources reduced fasting insulin levels, and the extent of hepatic steatosis; the latter was reversed by topical application of cPTIO, suggesting an important role for skin release of nitric oxide in preventing hepatic lipid accumulation. These results suggest that there may be a number of benefits achieved by regular exposure to safe (non-burning) levels of sunlight or UV-containing phototherapy, with effects potentially dependent on the predominance of the wavelengths of UVR administered.
Naomi Fleury, Martin Feelisch, Prue H Hart, Richard B Weller, Jordan Smoothy, Vance B Matthews and Shelley Gorman
Tristan S Allemann, Gursimran K Dhamrait, Naomi J Fleury, Tamara N Abel, Prue H Hart, Robyn M Lucas, Vance B Matthews and Shelley Gorman
In previous preclinical studies, low (non-burning) doses of UV radiation (UVR) limited weight gain and metabolic dysfunction in mice fed with a high-fat diet. Here, we explored the effects of low-dose UVR on physical activity and food intake and mechanistic pathways in interscapular brown adipose tissue (iBAT). Young adult C57Bl/6J male mice, housed as individuals, were fed a high-fat diet and exposed to low-dose UVR (sub-oedemal, 1 kJ/m2 UVB, twice-a-week) or ‘mock’ treatment, with or without running wheel access (2 h, for ‘moderate’ physical activity) immediately after phototherapy. There was no difference in distance run in mice exposed to UVR or mock-treated over 12 weeks of exposure to running wheels (P = 0.14). UVR (alone) did not significantly affect food intake, adiposity, or signs of glucose dysfunction. Access to running wheels increased food intake (after 10 weeks, P ≤ 0.02) and reduced gonadal white adipose tissue and iBAT mass (P ≤ 0.03). Body weight and hepatic steatosis were lowest in mice exposed to UVR with running wheel access. In the iBAT of mice exposed to UVR and running wheels, elevated Atgl, Cd36, Fasn, Igf1, Pparγ, and Ucp1 mRNAs and reduced CD11c on F4-80 + MHC class II+ macrophages were observed, while renal Sglt2 mRNA levels were increased, compared to high-fat diet alone (P ≤ 0.03). Blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were not increased by exposure to UVR and/or access to running wheels. In conclusion, when combined with physical activity, low-dose UVR may more effectively limit adiposity (specifically, body weight and hepatic steatosis) and modulate metabolic and immune pathways in iBAT.