Studies in humans and mice have determined that distinct subpopulations of adipocytes reside even within individual adipose tissue depots. Previously, our lab defined three white adipocyte subpopulations with stable and unique gene expression profiles, which were termed type 1, 2, and 3 adipocytes, respectively. Our previous studies demonstrated that type 2 adipocytes were highly responsive to the inflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). This study extends these findings to investigate the role of type 2 adipocytes in obesity. We found that treatment with TNFα increased lipolysis specifically in type 2 adipocytes, at least in part, through the reduction of fat-specific protein 27 (FSP27) expression. To assess the physiological role of lipolysis from this adipocyte subpopulation, a type2Ad-hFSP27tg mouse model was generated by overexpressing human FSP27 specifically in type 2 adipocytes. Glucose and insulin tolerance test analysis showed that male type2Ad-hFSP27tg mice on 60% high-fat diet exhibited improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, with no change in body weight compared to controls. These metabolic changes may, at least in part, be explained by the reduced lipolysis rate in the visceral fat of type2Ad-hFSP27tg mice. Although FSP27 overexpression in primary type 2 adipocytes was sufficient to acutely reduce TNFα-induced apoptosis in vitro, it failed to reduce macrophage infiltration in obesity in vivo. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that type 2 adipocytes contribute to the regulation of lipolysis and could serve as a potential therapeutic target for obesity-associated insulin resistance.
Niels JessenResearch Laboratory for Biochemical Pathology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
John J KopchickDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA The Diabetes Institute, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA Edison Biotechnology Institute, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA
Growth hormone (GH) has long been known to stimulate lipolysis and insulin resistance; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects are unknown. In the present study, we demonstrate that GH acutely induces lipolysis in cultured adipocytes. This effect is secondary to the reduced expression of a negative regulator of lipolysis, fat-specific protein 27 (FSP27; aka Cidec) at both the mRNA and protein levels. These effects are mimicked in vivo as transgenic overexpression of GH leads to a reduction of FSP27 expression. Mechanistically, we show GH modulation of FSP27 expression is mediated through activation of both MEK/ERK- and STAT5-dependent intracellular signaling. These two molecular pathways interact to differentially manipulate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma activity (PPARγ) on the FSP27 promoter. Furthermore, overexpression of FSP27 is sufficient to fully suppress GH-induced lipolysis and insulin resistance in cultured adipocytes. Taken together, these data decipher a molecular mechanism by which GH acutely regulates lipolysis and insulin resistance in adipocytes.