Vascular rarefaction mediates whitening of brown fat in obesity.
ABSTRACT: Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a highly vascularized organ with abundant mitochondria that produce heat through uncoupled respiration. Obesity is associated with a reduction of BAT function; however, it is unknown how obesity promotes dysfunctional BAT. Here, using a murine model of diet-induced obesity, we determined that obesity causes capillary rarefaction and functional hypoxia in BAT, leading to a BAT "whitening" phenotype that is characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction, lipid droplet accumulation, and decreased expression of Vegfa. Targeted deletion of Vegfa in adipose tissue of nonobese mice resulted in BAT whitening, supporting a role for decreased vascularity in obesity-associated BAT. Conversely, introduction of VEGF-A specifically into BAT of obese mice restored vascularity, ameliorated brown adipocyte dysfunction, and improved insulin sensitivity. The capillary rarefaction in BAT that was brought about by obesity or Vegfa ablation diminished ?-adrenergic signaling, increased mitochondrial ROS production, and promoted mitophagy. These data indicate that overnutrition leads to the development of a hypoxic state in BAT, causing it to whiten through mitochondrial dysfunction and loss. Furthermore, these results link obesity-associated BAT whitening to impaired systemic glucose metabolism.
Project description:Mitochondrial dysfunction in adipose tissue occurs in obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of lipodystrophy, but whether this dysfunction contributes to or is the result of these disorders is unknown. To investigate the physiological consequences of severe mitochondrial impairment in adipose tissue, we generated mice deficient in mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) in adipocytes by using mice carrying adiponectin-Cre and TFAM floxed alleles. These adiponectin TFAM-knockout (adipo-TFAM-KO) mice had a 75-81% reduction in TFAM in the subcutaneous and intra-abdominal white adipose tissue (WAT) and interscapular brown adipose tissue (BAT), causing decreased expression and enzymatic activity of proteins in complexes I, III, and IV of the electron transport chain (ETC). This mitochondrial dysfunction led to adipocyte death and inflammation in WAT and a whitening of BAT. As a result, adipo-TFAM-KO mice were resistant to weight gain, but exhibited insulin resistance on both normal chow and high-fat diets. These lipodystrophic mice also developed hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, and cardiac dysfunction. Thus, isolated mitochondrial dysfunction in adipose tissue can lead a syndrome of lipodystrophy with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular complications.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hypertensive patients exhibit decline in capillary density and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). However, whether capillary rarefaction in hypertension is associated with defect angiogenesis of EPCs remains unknown. We hypothesized that impaired mitochondrial function of late EPCs in hypertension is associated with the structural lack of capillary microcirculation via deficient CXCR4/JAK2/SIRT5 signaling. METHODS:We performed capillary microcirculation detection in hypertensive patients and healthy subjects. Angiogenic capacity and mitochondrial function of circulating EPCs were evaluated. The underlying mechanisms were further investigated by genetic inhibition and overexpression. FINDINGS:Capillary density of nail fold and eye fundus were significantly reduced in hypertensive patients, which was paralleled to decreased in vitro late EPC function and in vivo angiogenic capacity. Meanwhile the decline of EPC function in hypertension was accompanied by impaired mitochondrial ultrastructure, diminished mitochondrial membrane potential, reduced oxygen consumption, increased ROS generation and NADH level. Rotenone induced inhibition of oxygen consumption rate, excessive ROS generation and loss of MMP, which markedly decreased the in vitro functions of EPCs. Furthermore, SIRT5 expression of EPCs in hypertension was markedly reduced, which was correlated to mitochondrial dysfunction. CXCR4 gene transfer enhanced SIRT5 expression, improved mitochondrial functions and augmented angiogenic capacity of EPCs. The beneficial impacts of SIRT5 up-regulation on late EPC-mediated angiogenesis can be abrogated by blockade of CXCR4/JAK2/SIRT5 signaling pathway. INTERPRETATION:Mitochondrial dysfunction-mediated fall in angiogenic capacity due to deficient CXCR4/JAK2/SIRT5 signaling of late EPCs is probably responsible for the capillary rarefaction in hypertension. Our findings provide insight into the potential of EPC mitochondria as a novel target for the treatment of hypertension-related loss of microvascular density. FUNDS:National Nature Science Foundation of China, 973Program, the Nature Science Foundation of Guangdong.
Project description:Endothelial glycolysis plays a critical role in the regulation of angiogenesis. We investigated the role of Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) on endothelial cell (EC) glycolytic metabolism, angiogenesis, and diastolic function. Our aim was to test the hypothesis that loss of SIRT3 in ECs impairs endothelial glycolytic metabolism and angiogenesis and contributes to myocardial capillary rarefaction and the development of diastolic dysfunction. Using SIRT3 deficient ECs, SIRT3 was found to regulate a metabolic switch between mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis. SIRT3 knockout (KO)-ECs exhibited higher mitochondrial respiration and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. SIRT3 knockout (KO)-ECs exhibited a reduction in the expression of glycolytic enzyme, PFKFB3, and a fall in glycolysis and angiogenesis. Blockade of PFKFB3 reduced glycolysis and downregulated expression of VEGF and Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) in ECs. Deletion of SIRT3 in ECs also impaired hypoxia-induced expression of HIF-2?, VEGF, and Ang-1, as well as reduced angiogenesis. In vivo, endothelial-specific SIRT3 KO (ECKO) mice exhibited a myocardial capillary rarefaction together with a reduced coronary flow reserve (CFR) and diastolic dysfunction. Histologic study further demonstrated that knockout of SIRT3 in ECs significantly increased perivascular fibrosis in the coronary artery. These results implicate a role of SIRT3 in modulating endothelial function and cardiac function. Ablation of SIRT3 leads to impairment of EC glycolytic metabolism and angiogenic signaling, which may contribute to coronary microvascular rarefaction and diastolic dysfunction in SIRT3 ECKO mice.
Project description:Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is an attractive therapeutic target to combat diabetes and obesity due to its ability to increase glucose expenditure. In a genetic rat model (ZDF fa/fa) of type-2 diabetes and obesity, we aimed to investigate glucose utilization of BAT by 18F-FDG PET imaging. Male Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) and Male Zucker lean (ZL) control rats were studied at 13 weeks. Three weeks prior to imaging, ZDF rats were randomized into a no-restriction (ZDF-ND) and a mild calorie restriction (ZDF-CR) group. Dynamic 18F-FDG PET using a dedicated small animal PET system was performed under hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. 18F-FDG PET identified intense inter-scapular BAT glucose uptake in all ZL control rats, while no focally increased 18F-FDG uptake was detected in all ZDF-ND rats. Mild but significant improved BAT tracer uptake was identified after calorie restriction in diabetic rats (ZDF-CR). The weight of BAT tissue and fat deposits were significantly increased in ZDF-CR and ZDF-ND rats as compared to ZL controls, while UCP-1 and mitochondrial concentrations were significantly decreased. Whitening and severely impaired insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in BAT was confirmed in a rat model of type-2 diabetes. Additionally, calorie restriction partially restored the impaired BAT glucose uptake.
Project description:Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (Dpp4) inhibitors are used worldwide to combat diabetes, however, their roles in cardiovascular disorders are yet to be defined. Here we show that a DPP4 inhibitor, linagliptin, contributes for the suppression of capillary rarefaction in cardiac tissues of dietary obese mice model. Imposing a high fat diet into mice induced capillary rarefaction and cardiac dysfunction. These pathologies associated with high DPP4 level in circulation, and the administration of linagliptin into dietary obese mice suppressed the development of capillary rarefaction and ameliorated cardiac dysfunction. Early growth response protein 1 (EGR1), known as an angiogenic transcription factor, is significantly reduced in the cardiac tissue upon metabolic stress, and this suppression was inhibited by the administration of linagliptin. Overall design: Total RNA of cardiac tissue was obtained from a normal chow- and a high-fat diet-fed mice with or without a DPP-4 inhibitor. Mice were fed a high-fat diet or a normal chow for totally 8 weeks from 4 weeks age, and analyzed at 12 weeks of age.The DPP-4 inhibitor was administered within a water at the concentration of 10 mg/kg/day for 8 weeks since 4 weeks of age.
Project description:The mechanisms underlying glucocorticoid (GC)-increased adiposity are poorly understood. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) acquires white adipose tissue (WAT) cell features defined as BAT whitening under certain circumstances. The aim of our current study was to investigate the possibility and mechanisms of GC-induced BAT whitening. Here, we showed that one-week dexamethasone (Dex) treatment induced BAT whitening, characterized by lipid droplet accumulation, in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, autophagy and ATG7 (autophagy related 7) expression was induced in BAT by Dex, and treatment with the autophagy inhibitor chloroquine or adenovirus-mediated ATG7 knockdown prevented Dex-induced BAT whitening and fat mass gain. Moreover, Dex-increased ATG7 expression and autophagy was mediated by enhanced expression of BTG1 (B cell translocation gene 1, anti-proliferative) that stimulated activity of CREB1 (cAMP response element binding protein 1). The importance of BTG1 in this regulation was further demonstrated by the observed BAT whitening in adipocyte-specific BTG1-overexpressing mice and the attenuated Dex-induced BAT whitening and fat mass gain in mice with BTG1 knockdown in BAT. Taken together, we showed that Dex induces a significant whitening of BAT via BTG1- and ATG7-dependent autophagy, which might contribute to Dex-increased adiposity. These results provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying GC-increased adiposity and possible strategy for preventing GC-induced side effects via the combined use of an autophagy inhibitor.Abbreviations: ACADL: acyl-Coenzyme A dehydrogenase, long-chain; ACADM: acyl-Coenzyme A dehydrogenase, medium-chain; ACADS: acyl-Coenzyme A dehydrogenase, short-chain; ADIPOQ: adiponectin; AGT: angiotensinogen; Atg: autophagy-related; BAT: brown adipose tissue; BTG1: B cell translocation gene 1, anti-proliferative; CEBPA: CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP), alpha; CIDEA: cell death-inducing DNA fragmentation factor, alpha subunit-like effector A; CPT1B: carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1b, muscle; CPT2: carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2; CQ: chloroquine; Dex: dexamethasone; eWAT: epididymal white adipose tissue; FABP4: fatty acid binding protein 4, adipocyte; FFAs: free fatty acids; GCs: glucocorticoids; NRIP1: nuclear receptor interacting protein 1; OCR: oxygen consumption rate; PBS: phosphate-buffered saline; PPARA: peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha; PPARG: peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma; PPARGC1A: peroxisome proliferator activated receptor, gamma, coactivator 1 alpha; PRDM16: PR domain containing 16; PSAT1: phosphoserine aminotransferase 1; RB1: RB transcriptional corepressor 1; RBL1/p107: RB transcriptional corepressor like 1; SQSTM1: sequestosome 1; sWAT: subcutaneous white adipose tissue; TG: triglycerides; UCP1: uncoupling protein 1 (mitochondrial, proton carrier); WT: wild-type.
Project description:Formation of beige adipocytes within white adipose tissue enhances energy expenditure, which is a promising strategy to reduce obesity and prevent metabolic symptoms. Vitamin A and its bioactive metabolite, retinoic acid (RA), have regulatory roles in lipid metabolism. Here we report that RA induces white adipose tissue browning via activating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling. RA triggered angiogenesis and elicited de novo generation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor ? positive (PDGFR?+) adipose precursor cells via VEGFA/VEGFR2 signaling. In addition, RA promoted beige/brown adipocyte formation from capillary networks in vitro. Using PDGFR? tracking mice, we found that the vascular system acted as an adipogenic repository by containing PDGFR?+ progenitors which differentiated into beige adipocytes under RA or VEGF164 treatments. Conditional knockout of VEGF receptors blocked RA-stimulated white adipose tissue browning. Moreover, the VEGFA and RA activated p38MAPK to enhance the binding of RA receptor to RA response elements of the Prdm16 promoter and upregulated Prdm16 transcription. In conclusion, RA induces white adipose tissue browning by increasing adipose vascularity and promoting beige adipogenesis of PDGFR?+ adipose progenitors.
Project description:Obesity is associated with severe metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer. The pathophysiology of obesity-induced metabolic diseases has been strongly related to white adipose tissue (WAT) dysfunction through several mechanisms such as fibrosis, apoptosis, inflammation, ER and oxidative stress. However, little is known of whether these processes are also present in brown adipose tissue (BAT) during obesity, and the potential consequences on mitochondrial activity. Here we characterized the BAT of obese and hyperglycemic mice treated with a high-fat diet (HFD) for 20 weeks. The hypertrophic BAT from obese mice showed no signs of fibrosis nor apoptosis, but higher levels of inflammation, ER stress, ROS generation and antioxidant enzyme activity than the lean counterparts. The response was attenuated compared with obesity-induced WAT derangements, which suggests that BAT is more resistant to the obesity-induced insult. In fact, mitochondrial respiration in BAT from obese mice was enhanced, with a 2-fold increase in basal oxygen consumption, through the upregulation of complex III of the electron transport chain and UCP1. Altogether, our results show that obesity is accompanied by an increase in BAT mitochondrial activity, inflammation and oxidative damage.
Project description:We have previously reported that central neurons mediating vestibulo-spinal reflexes and self-motion perception optimally encode natural self-motion (Mitchell et al., 2018). Importantly however, the vestibular nuclei also comprise other neuronal classes that mediate essential functions such as the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and its adaptation. Here we show that heterogeneities in resting discharge variability mediate a trade-off between faithful encoding and optimal coding via temporal whitening. Specifically, neurons displaying lower variability did not whiten naturalistic self-motion but instead faithfully represented the stimulus' detailed time course, while neurons displaying higher variability displayed temporal whitening. Using a well-established model of VOR pathways, we demonstrate that faithful stimulus encoding is necessary to generate the compensatory eye movements found experimentally during naturalistic self-motion. Our findings suggest a novel functional role for variability toward establishing different coding strategies: (1) faithful stimulus encoding for generating the VOR; (2) optimized coding via temporal whitening for other vestibular functions.
Project description:Albuminuria may be a biomarker of generalized (i.e., microvascular and macrovascular) endothelial dysfunction. According to this concept, endothelial dysfunction of the renal microcirculation causes albuminuria by increasing glomerular capillary wall permeability and intraglomerular pressure, the latter eventually leading to glomerular capillary dropout (rarefaction) and further increases in intraglomerular pressure. However, direct evidence for an association between capillary rarefaction and albuminuria is lacking. Therefore, we examined the cross-sectional association between the recruitment of capillaries after arterial occlusion (capillary density during postocclusive peak reactive hyperemia) and during venous occlusion (venous congestion), as assessed with skin capillaroscopy, and albuminuria in 741 participants of the Maastricht Study, including 211 participants with type 2 diabetes. Overall, 57 participants had albuminuria, which was defined as a urinary albumin excretion ?30 mg/24 h. After adjustment for potential confounders, participants in the lowest tertile of skin capillary recruitment during postocclusive peak reactive hyperemia had an odds ratio for albuminuria of 2.27 (95% confidence interval, 1.07 to 4.80) compared with those in the highest tertile. Similarly, a comparison between the lowest and the highest tertiles of capillary recruitment during venous congestion yielded an odds ratio of 2.89 (95% confidence interval, 1.27 to 6.61) for participants in the lowest tertile. In conclusion, lower capillary density of the skin microcirculation independently associated with albuminuria, providing direct support for a role of capillary rarefaction in the pathogenesis of albuminuria.