Microbiota depletion promotes browning of white adipose tissue and reduces obesity.
ABSTRACT: Brown adipose tissue (BAT) promotes a lean and healthy phenotype and improves insulin sensitivity. In response to cold or exercise, brown fat cells also emerge in the white adipose tissue (WAT; also known as beige cells), a process known as browning. Here we show that the development of functional beige fat in the inguinal subcutaneous adipose tissue (ingSAT) and perigonadal visceral adipose tissue (pgVAT) is promoted by the depletion of microbiota either by means of antibiotic treatment or in germ-free mice. This leads to improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and decreased white fat and adipocyte size in lean mice, obese leptin-deficient (ob/ob) mice and high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice. Such metabolic improvements are mediated by eosinophil infiltration, enhanced type 2 cytokine signaling and M2 macrophage polarization in the subcutaneous white fat depots of microbiota-depleted animals. The metabolic phenotype and the browning of the subcutaneous fat are impaired by the suppression of type 2 cytokine signaling, and they are reversed by recolonization of the antibiotic-treated or germ-free mice with microbes. These results provide insight into the microbiota-fat signaling axis and beige-fat development in health and metabolic disease.
Project description:Beige adipocyte differentiation within white adipose tissue, referred to as browning, is seen as a possible mechanism for increasing energy expenditure. The molecular regulation underlying the thermogenic browning process has not been entirely elucidated. Here, we identify the zinc finger transcription factor EGR1 as a negative regulator of the beige fat program. Loss of Egr1 in mice promotes browning in the absence of external stimulation and leads to an increase of Ucp1 expression, which encodes the key thermogenic mitochondrial uncoupling protein-1. Moreover, EGR1 is recruited to the proximal region of the Ucp1 promoter in subcutaneous inguinal white adipose tissue. Transcriptomic analysis of subcutaneous inguinal white adipose tissue in the absence of Egr1 identifies the molecular signature of white adipocyte browning downstream of Egr1 deletion and highlights a concomitant increase of beige differentiation marker and a decrease in extracellular matrix gene expression. Conversely, Egr1 overexpression in mesenchymal stem cells decreases beige adipocyte differentiation, while increasing extracellular matrix production. These results reveal a role for Egr1 in blocking energy expenditure via direct Ucp1 transcription repression and highlight Egr1 as a therapeutic target for counteracting obesity.
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:A clear relationship exists between visceral obesity and type 2 diabetes, whereas subcutaneous obesity is comparatively benign. Here, we show that adipocyte-specific deletion of the coregulatory protein PRDM16 caused minimal effects on classical brown fat but markedly inhibited beige adipocyte function in subcutaneous fat following cold exposure or ?3-agonist treatment. These animals developed obesity on a high-fat diet, with severe insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. They also showed altered fat distribution with markedly increased subcutaneous adiposity. Subcutaneous adipose tissue in mutant mice acquired many key properties of visceral fat, including decreased thermogenic and increased inflammatory gene expression and increased macrophage accumulation. Transplantation of subcutaneous fat into mice with diet-induced obesity showed a loss of metabolic benefit when tissues were derived from PRDM16 mutant animals. These findings indicate that PRDM16 and beige adipocytes are required for the "browning" of white fat and the healthful effects of subcutaneous adipose tissue.
Project description:With rapid economic development, the prevalence of obesity has increased remarkably worldwide. Obesity can induce a variety of metabolic diseases, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease, which significantly endanger the health and welfare of individuals. Brown and beige fat tissues play an important role in thermogenesis in mammals. Recent studies have shown that follistatin (FST) can potentially induce the browning of white adipose tissue (WAT). In this study, high-fat diet-induced obese mice were injected with follistatin for one week to explore the effects of follistatin on browning and metabolism and to determine the mechanism. The results showed that follistatin suppressed obesity caused by a high-fat diet and increased insulin sensitivity, energy expenditure, and subcutaneous fat browning. The beneficial effects remained even after a period of withdrawal. Follistatin promoted secretion of irisin from subcutaneous fat via the AMPK-PGC1?-irisin signal pathway, which induces browning of WAT, and activated the insulin pathway in beige fat thereby promoting metabolism.
Project description:Adiposity is caused by an imbalance between energy intake and consumption. Promotion of the browning of white fat increases energy expenditure and could combat adiposity. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) has been confirmed to positively correlate with adiposity. However, the putative connection between TSH and white adipose browning has never been explored. In this study, we sought to assess the effect of TSH on white adipose tissue browning and energy metabolism. Subclinical hypothyroidism mice, thyroid-specific Tshr-knockout mice injected with TSH, adipocyte-specific and global Tshr-knockout micewere subjected to morphological, physiological, genetic or protein expression analyses and metabolic cages to determine the role of TSH on the browning of white adipose tissue and metabolism. 3T3-L1 and primary SVF cells were used to verify the effects and mechanism of TSH on the browning of white adipocytes. We show that increased circulation TSH level decreases energy expenditure, promotes adiposity, impairs glucose and lipid metabolism. Knockout of Tshr decreases adiposity, increases energy expenditureand markedly promotes the development of beige adipocytesin both epididymal and inguinal subcutaneous white fat via a mechanism that likely involves AMPK/PRDM16/PGC1?. Our results reveal an important role of TSH in regulating energy balance and adiposity by inhibiting the browning of white fat.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Browning, the conversion of white adipose tissue (WAT) to a beige phenotype, has gained interest as a strategy to induce weight loss and improve insulin resistance in metabolic disorders. However, for hypermetabolic conditions stemming from burn trauma or cancer cachexia, browning is thought to contribute to energy wasting and supraphysiological nutritional requirements. Metformin's impact on this phenomenon and underlying mechanisms have not been explored. METHODS:We used both a murine burn model and human ex vivo adipose explants to assess metformin and 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR)'s effects on the development of subcutaneous beige adipose. Enzymes involved in fat homeostasis and browning, as well as mitochondrial dynamics, were assessed to determine metformin's effects. RESULTS:Treatment with the biguanide metformin lowers lipolysis in beige fat by inducing protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) independently of adenosine monophosphate kinase (AMPK) activation. Increased PP2A activity catalyzes the dephosphorylation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (Ser 79) and hormone sensitive lipase (Ser 660), thus promoting fat storage and the "whitening" of otherwise lipolytic beige adipocytes. Moreover, co-incubation of metformin with the PP2A inhibitor okadaic acid countered the anti-lipolytic effects of this biguanide in human adipose. Additionally, we show that metformin does not activate this pathway in the WAT of control mice and that AICAR sustains the browning of white adipose, offering further evidence that metformin acts independently of this cellular energy sensor. CONCLUSIONS:This work provides novel insights into the mechanistic underpinnings of metformin's therapeutic benefits and potential as an agent to reduce the lipotoxicity associated with hypermetabolism and adipose browning.
Project description:The acquisition of beige adipocyte features by white fat cells corresponds to protection against obesity-induced metabolic diseases in humans and animal models of type 2 diabetes. In adipose tissue, expression of the E2 small ubiquitin-like modifier ligase ubiquitin carrier protein 9 (Ubc9) is positively correlated with markers of insulin resistance and corresponds with impaired browning of human white adipocytes. However, the molecular regulation of Ubc9 expression in adipocytes and other cells remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that the mRNA and protein expression of Ubc9 are regulated by the microRNA miRNA-30a (miR-30a) in human subcutaneous adipocytes. Ubc9 and miR-30a exhibit inverse expression in adipose tissue, with miR-30a robustly elevated in brown fat. Depletion of Ubc9 by siRNA or enforced expression of a miR-30a mimic augments mitochondrial volume and respiration in human white adipocytes, reflecting features of brown fat cells. Furthermore, Ubc9 depletion induces a brown fat gene program in human subcutaneous adipocytes. Induction of the beige-selective gene program corresponds to stabilization of the PR domain-containing 16 (PRDM16) protein, an obligate transcriptional regulator of the brown/beige fat metabolic program in white adipocytes that interacts with Ubc9. Taken together, our data demonstrate a previously unappreciated molecular axis that controls browning of human white adipocytes.
Project description:While activation of beige thermogenesis is a promising approach for treatment of obesity-associated diseases, there are currently no known pharmacological means of inducing beiging in humans. Intermittent fasting is an effective and natural strategy for weight control, but the mechanism for its efficacy is poorly understood. Here, we show that an every-other-day fasting (EODF) regimen selectively stimulates beige fat development within white adipose tissue and dramatically ameliorates obesity, insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis. EODF treatment results in a shift in the gut microbiota composition leading to elevation of the fermentation products acetate and lactate and to the selective upregulation of monocarboxylate transporter 1 expression in beige cells. Microbiota-depleted mice are resistance to EODF-induced beiging, while transplantation of the microbiota from EODF-treated mice to microbiota-depleted mice activates beiging and improves metabolic homeostasis. These findings provide a new gut-microbiota-driven mechanism for activating adipose tissue browning and treating metabolic diseases.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Brown and beige adipocytes in humans and rodents are specialized to burn lipids for heat generation as a natural defense against cold and obesity, which is advantageous to metabolic homeostasis. MicroRNAs as another regulatory layer to regulate metabolic homeostasis attracted a lot of attentions. Our previous work revealed microRNA (miR)-203 as a brown adipocyte-enriched microRNA involved in brown adipocytes development. However, the potential role of miR-203 in adipose tissue metabolic homeostasis has not been determined in vivo. In this study, we investigate the potential role of miR-203 in subcutaneous white adipose tissue (sub-WAT) browning and metabolic homeostasis. METHODS:We investigated the relationship between miR-203 and energy homeostasis in adipose tissue from cold exposed, high fat diet (HFD) fed, ob/ob and db/db mice. The functions of miR-203 on sub-WAT browning were validated through miR-203 knockdown or overexpression. The miR-203 targeted signal pathway was screened by RNAseq analysis. Luciferase report assay, western blot, and qPCR were performed to establish the miR-203 related upstream and downstream signal pathway in vivo and in vitro. The functions of miR-203 on obesity and metabolic homeostasis were validated through GTT/ITT and western blot on high fat diet-induced obesity in C57 mice. ELISA was used to determine the concentration of IFN-γ. Flow cytometry analysis was performed to determine the infiltration of macrophages in adipose tissue. RESULTS:MiR-203 expression positively correlates with energy expenditure, and overexpression of miR-203 could enhance sub-WAT browning in normal diet (ND) condition. Mechanistically, the expression of miR-203 is activated by cAMP-dependent C/EBPβ up-regulation. Subsequently, miR-203 inhibits IFN-γ signal pathway activation by directly targeting Lyn, which is an activator of Jak1-Stat1. Moreover, the forced expression of miR-203 could improve insulin sensitivity and resist high fat diet-induced obesity by inhibiting IFN-γ. CONCLUSIONS:MicroRNA-203 (miR-203) promotes white adipose tissue browning in cold exposed mice and improves glucose tolerance in HFD fed mice by repressing IFN-γ. Since miR-203 is activated by cAMP-dependent C/EBPβ up-regulation and directly represses IFN-γ signal pathway, we declare that miR-203 acts as a messenger between cAMP signal pathway and IFN-γ signal pathway.
Project description:Background: Activation of the thermogenic program in white and brown adipocytes presents a promising avenue for increasing energy expenditure during the treatment of obesity. The endogenous mechanism for promoting thermogenesis in brown adipocytes or browning in white adipocytes has indicated that the gut microbiota is a crucial regulator of the host energy balance. However, whether the effects of the therapeutic intervention-induced modulation of the gut microbiota on adipocyte browning involved the regulation of leptin remains unclear. Method: The adipose features were analyzed by body composition analysis, infrared camera observations, transmission electron microscopy and H&E staining. The gene and protein expression in adipose tissue were detected by qRT-PCR, immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining. The gut microbiome signature was identified by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, and both mice with high-fat diet-induced obesity (DIO) and mice with antibiotics-induced microbiome depletion were subjected to fecal microbiota transplantation. Results: Treatment with Panax notoginseng saponins (PNS) shaped the murine gut microbiome by increasing the abundances of Akkermansia muciniphila and Parabacteroides distasonis, and as a result, DIO mice harbored a distal gut microbiota with a significantly increased capacity to reduce host adiposity. The PNS-induced modulation of the gut microbiota in DIO mice could increase brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis and beige adipocyte reconstruction by activating the leptin-AMPK/STAT3 signaling pathway, which results in the promotion of energy expenditure. Leptin has an essential influence on the anti-obesity effects of PNS. In cases of leptin deficiency, the PNS-induced modulation of the gut microbiota exerts negative effects on thermogenesis and browning in white adipose tissue (WAT), which indicates that PNS fail to reduce obesity in leptin gene-deficient mice. The PNS-induced modulation of the gut microbiota exerted a minimal effect on DIO mice with antibiotic-induced microbiome depletion, which confirmed the correlation between altered gut microbiota and the remodeling of adipose tissues in DIO mice. The direct influence of leptin on browning via the AMPK?/STAT3 signaling pathway in C3H101/2 cells supported our in vivo results that signalling through the leptin-AMPK/STAT3 pathway induced by the PNS-modulated gut microbiota was involved in beige adipocyte reconstruction. Conclusion: Our results revealed that leptin signaling is critical for alterations in microbiota-fat crosstalk and provide promising avenues for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of obesity.