Thermogenic ability of uncoupling protein 1 in beige adipocytes in mice.
ABSTRACT: Chronic adrenergic activation leads to the emergence of beige adipocytes in some depots of white adipose tissue in mice. Despite their morphological similarities to brown adipocytes and their expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), a thermogenic protein exclusively expressed in brown adipocytes, the beige adipocytes have a gene expression pattern distinct from that of brown adipocytes. However, it is unclear whether the thermogenic function of beige adipocytes is different from that of classical brown adipocytes existing in brown adipose tissue. To examine the thermogenic ability of UCP1 expressed in beige and brown adipocytes, the adipocytes were isolated from the fat depots of C57BL/6J mice housed at 24°C (control group) or 10°C (cold-acclimated group) for 3 weeks. Morphological and gene expression analyses revealed that the adipocytes isolated from brown adipose tissue of both the control and cold-acclimated groups consisted mainly of brown adipocytes. These brown adipocytes contained large amounts of UCP1 and increased their oxygen consumption when stimulated with norepinephirine. Adipocytes isolated from the perigonadal white adipose tissues of both groups and the inguinal white adipose tissue of the control group were white adipocytes that showed no increase in oxygen consumption after norepinephrine stimulation. Adipocytes isolated from the inguinal white adipose tissue of the cold-acclimated group were a mixture of white and beige adipocytes, which expressed UCP1 and increased their oxygen consumption in response to norepinephrine. The UCP1 content and thermogenic ability of beige adipocytes estimated on the basis of their abundance in the cell mixture were similar to those of brown adipocytes. These results revealed that the inducible beige adipocytes have potent thermogenic ability comparable to classical brown adipocytes.
Project description:Adult humans and mice possess significant classical brown adipose tissues (BAT) and, upon cold-induction, acquire brown-like adipocytes in certain depots of white adipose tissues (WAT), known as beige adipose tissues or WAT browning/beiging. Activating thermogenic classical BAT or WAT beiging to generate heat limits diet-induced obesity or type-2 diabetes in mice. Adiponectin is a beneficial adipokine resisting diabetes, and causing "healthy obese" by increasing WAT expansion to limit lipotoxicity in other metabolic tissues during high-fat feeding. However, the role of its receptors, especially adiponectin receptor 1 (AdipoR1), on cold-induced thermogenesis in vivo in BAT and in WAT beiging is still elusive. Here, we established a cold-induction procedure in transgenic mice over-expressing AdipoR1 and applied a live 3-D [<sup>18</sup>F] fluorodeoxyglucose-PET/CT (<sup>18</sup>F-FDG PET/CT) scanning to measure BAT activity by determining glucose uptake in cold-acclimated transgenic mice. Results showed that cold-acclimated mice over-expressing AdipoR1 had diminished cold-induced glucose uptake, enlarged adipocyte size in BAT and in browned WAT, and reduced surface BAT/body temperature in vivo. Furthermore, decreased gene expression, related to thermogenic <i>Ucp1</i>, BAT-specific markers, BAT-enriched mitochondrial markers, lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation, and increased expression of whitening genes in BAT or in browned subcutaneous inguinal WAT of AdipoR1 mice are congruent with results of PET/CT scanning and surface body temperature in vivo. Moreover, differentiated brown-like beige adipocytes isolated from pre-adipocytes in subcutaneous WAT of transgenic AdipoR1 mice also had similar effects of lowered expression of thermogenic <i>Ucp1</i>, BAT selective markers, and BAT mitochondrial markers. Therefore, this study combines in vitro and in vivo results with live 3-D scanning and reveals one of the many facets of the adiponectin receptors in regulating energy homeostasis, especially in the involvement of cold-induced thermogenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recent studies suggest human neck brown adipose tissue (BAT) to consist of 'brown adipocyte (BA)-like' or beige adipocytes. However, little is known about their thermogenic function. Within the beige adipocyte transcriptome, fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF21) is a gene whose protein product acts as an adipokine, regulating cold-induced thermogenesis in animals. Here, we explored (i) the adipogenic potential, thermogenic function and FGF21 secretory capacity of beige adipocytes derived from human neck fat and (ii) the role of FGF21 in modulating adipose bioenergetics. METHODS:Progenitors isolated from human cervical fat were differentiated into adipocytes with either a BA-like or white adipocyte (WA) phenotype. FGF21 secretion was measured by enzyme-linked immuosorbent assay. Real-time PCR/western blotting was used to determine cellular mRNA/protein levels. Extracellular flux bioanalyzer was used to quantify adipocyte oxygen consumption and fatty acid oxidation. Adipocyte heat production was measured by infrared thermography. RESULTS:Under hormonal manipulation, primary human neck pre-adipocytes differentiated into adipocytes with either BA-like or WA phenotypes, on gene/protein and functional levels. BA-like cells expressed beige but not classic BA markers. During BA differentiation, FGF21 gene expression and secretion were increased, and were augmented following norepinephrine exposure (a cold mimic in vitro). Differentiated WA expressed ?-klotho, a critical co-factor mediating FGF21 action. Treatment of WA with FGF21-induced UCP1 expression and increased oxygen consumption, respiratory uncoupling, norepinephrine-mediated thermogenesis, fatty acid oxidation and heat production, thus recapitulating the association between cold-induced FGF21 secretion and cold-induced thermogenesis in vivo. CONCLUSION:Beige adipocytes are thermogenic in humans. FGF21 is a beige adipokine capable of promoting a brown fat-like thermogenic program in WAs. SIGNIFICANCE:This study provides first evidence of inducible functional thermogenic beige adipogenesis in human neck fat. FGF21 holds promise as a cold-induced beige adipokine with metabolic benefits of therapeutic relevance through browning of white adipose tissue.
Project description:Adipose tissue is an essential regulator of metabolic homeostasis. In contrast with white adipose tissue, which stores excess energy in the form of triglycerides, brown adipose tissue is thermogenic, dissipating energy as heat via the unique expression of the mitochondrial uncoupling protein UCP1. A subset of UCP1+ adipocytes develops within white adipose tissue in response to physiological stimuli; however, the developmental origin of these "brite" or "beige" adipocytes is unclear. Here, we report the identification of a BMP7-ROCK signaling axis regulating beige adipocyte formation via control of the G-actin-regulated transcriptional coactivator myocardin-related transcription factor A, MRTFA. White adipose tissue from MRTFA(-/-) mice contains more multilocular adipocytes and expresses enhanced levels of brown-selective proteins, including UCP1. MRTFA(-/-) mice also show improved metabolic profiles and protection from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Our study hence unravels a central pathway driving the development of physiologically functional beige adipocytes.
Project description:Thermogenesis in brown adipocytes, conferred by mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), is receiving great attention because metabolically active brown adipose tissue may protect humans from metabolic diseases. In particular, the thermogenic function of brown-like adipocytes in white adipose tissue, known as brite (or beige) adipocytes, is currently of prime interest. A valid procedure to quantify the specific contribution of UCP1 to thermogenesis is thus of vital importance. Adrenergic stimulation of lipolysis is a common way to activate UCP1. We here report, however, that in this frequently applied setup, taking control over intracellular fatty acid levels is essential for the analysis of thermogenic function in cultured brown and brite adipocytes. By the application of these findings, we demonstrate that UCP1 is functionally thermogenic in intact brite adipocytes and adrenergic UCP1 activation is largely dependent on adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) rather than hormone sensitive lipase (HSL).
Project description:Cold and other environmental factors induce "browning" of white fat depots-development of beige adipocytes with morphological and functional resemblance to brown fat. Similar to brown fat, beige adipocytes are assumed to express mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and are thermogenic due to the UCP1-mediated H+ leak across the inner mitochondrial membrane. However, this assumption has never been tested directly. Herein we patch clamped the inner mitochondrial membrane of beige and brown fat to provide a direct comparison of their thermogenic H+ leak (IH). All inguinal beige adipocytes had robust UCP1-dependent IH comparable to brown fat, but it was about three times less sensitive to purine nucleotide inhibition. Strikingly, only ?15% of epididymal beige adipocytes had IH, while in the rest UCP1-dependent IH was undetectable. Despite the absence of UCP1 in the majority of epididymal beige adipocytes, these cells employ prominent creatine cycling as a UCP1-independent thermogenic mechanism.
Project description:In mice, exercise, cold exposure and fasting lead to the differentiation of inducible-brown adipocytes, called beige adipocytes, within white adipose tissue and have beneficial effects on fat burning and metabolism, through heat production. This browning process is associated with an increased expression of the key thermogenic mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1, Ucp1. Egr1 transcription factor has been described as a regulator of white and beige differentiation programs, and Egr1 depletion is associated with a spontaneous increase of subcutaneous white adipose tissue browning, in absence of external stimulation. Here, we demonstrate that Egr1 mutant mice exhibit a restrained Ucp1 expression specifically increased in subcutaneous fat, resulting in a metabolic shift to a more brown-like, oxidative metabolism, which was not observed in other fat depots. In addition, Egr1 is necessary and sufficient to promote white and alter beige adipocyte differentiation of mouse stem cells. These results suggest that modulation of Egr1 expression could represent a promising therapeutic strategy to increase energy expenditure and to restrain obesity-associated metabolic disorders.
Project description:Thermogenic brown and beige adipocytes oxidize metabolic substrates producing heat, mainly by the mitochondrial uncoupling protein UCP1, and can thus counteract obesity. Masked beige adipocytes possess white adipocyte-like morphology, but can be made thermogenic by adrenergic stimuli. We investigated the regulation of mitophagy upon thermogenic activation of human masked and mature beige adipocytes. Human primary abdominal subcutaneous adipose-derived stromal cells (hASCs) and Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome (SGBS) preadipocytes were differentiated to white and beige adipocytes, then their cAMP-induced thermogenic potential was assessed by detecting increased expressions of UCP1, mitochondrial DNA content and respiratory chain complex subunits. cAMP increased the thermogenic potential of white adipocytes similarly to beige ones, indicating the presence of a masked beige population. In unstimulated conditions, a high autophagic flux and mitophagy rates (demonstrated by LC3 punctae and TOM20 co-immunostaining) were observed in white adipocytes, while these were lower in beige adipocytes. Silencing and gene expression experiments showed that the ongoing mitophagy was Parkin-independent. cAMP treatment led to the downregulation of mitophagy through PKA in both types of adipocytes, resulting in more fragmented mitochondria and increased UCP1 levels. Our data indicates that mitophagy is repressed upon encountering a short-term adrenergic stimulus, as a fast regulatory mechanism to provide high mitochondrial content for thermogenesis.
Project description:Iron homeostasis is essential for maintaining cellular function in a wide range of cell types. However, whether iron affects the thermogenic properties of adipocytes is currently unknown. Using integrative analyses of multi-omics data, transferrin receptor 1 (Tfr1) is identified as a candidate for regulating thermogenesis in beige adipocytes. Furthermore, it is shown that mice lacking Tfr1 specifically in adipocytes have impaired thermogenesis, increased insulin resistance, and low-grade inflammation accompanied by iron deficiency and mitochondrial dysfunction. Mechanistically, the cold treatment in beige adipocytes selectively stabilizes hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF1?), upregulating the Tfr1 gene, and thermogenic adipocyte-specific Hif1? deletion reduces thermogenic gene expression in beige fat without altering core body temperature. Notably, Tfr1 deficiency in interscapular brown adipose tissue (iBAT) leads to the transdifferentiation of brown preadipocytes into white adipocytes and muscle cells; in contrast, long-term exposure to a low-iron diet fails to phenocopy the transdifferentiation effect found in Tfr1-deficient mice. Moreover, mice lacking transmembrane serine protease 6 (Tmprss6) develop iron deficiency in both inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT) and iBAT, and have impaired cold-induced beige adipocyte formation and brown fat thermogenesis. Taken together, these findings indicate that Tfr1 plays an essential role in thermogenic adipocytes via both iron-dependent and iron-independent mechanisms.
Project description:When exposed to cold temperatures, mice increase their thermogenic capacity by an expansion of brown adipose tissue mass and the formation of brite/beige adipocytes in white adipose tissue depots. However, the process of the transcriptional changes underlying the conversion of a phenotypic white to brite/beige adipocytes is only poorly understood. By analyzing transcriptome profiles of inguinal adipocytes during cold exposure and in mouse models with a different propensity to form brite/beige adipocytes, we identified ESRRG and PERM1 as modulators of this process. The production of heat by mitochondrial uncoupled respiration is a key feature of brite/beige compared to white adipocytes and we show here that both candidates are involved in PGC1? transcriptional network to positively regulate mitochondrial capacity. Moreover, we show that an increased expression of ESRRG or PERM1 supports the formation of brown or brite/beige adipocytes in vitro and in vivo. These results reveal that ESRRG and PERM1 are early induced in and important regulators of brite/beige adipocyte formation.
Project description:Brown and beige adipose tissues can dissipate chemical energy as heat through thermogenic respiration, which requires uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). Thermogenesis from these adipocytes can combat obesity and diabetes, encouraging investigation of factors that control UCP1-dependent respiration in vivo. Here we show that acutely activated thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue is defined by a substantial increase in levels of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Remarkably, this process supports in vivo thermogenesis, as pharmacological depletion of mitochondrial ROS results in hypothermia upon cold exposure, and inhibits UCP1-dependent increases in whole-body energy expenditure. We further establish that thermogenic ROS alter the redox status of cysteine thiols in brown adipose tissue to drive increased respiration, and that Cys253 of UCP1 is a key target. UCP1 Cys253 is sulfenylated during thermogenesis, while mutation of this site desensitizes the purine-nucleotide-inhibited state of the carrier to adrenergic activation and uncoupling. These studies identify mitochondrial ROS induction in brown adipose tissue as a mechanism that supports UCP1-dependent thermogenesis and whole-body energy expenditure, which opens the way to improved therapeutic strategies for combating metabolic disorders.