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Erythropoietin (EPO) ameliorates obesity and glucose homeostasis by promoting thermogenesis and endocrine function of classical brown adipose tissue (BAT) in diet-induced obese mice.


ABSTRACT: Erythropoietin (EPO), clinically used as a hematopoietic drug, has received much attention due to its nonhematopoietic effects. EPO reportedly has beneficial effects on obesity and diabetes mellitus. We investigated whether interscapular brown adipose tissue (iBAT: main part of classical BAT) could play a role in EPO's anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects in diet-induced obese mice. Four-week-old male C57BL/6J mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD-Con), and half were additionally given an intraperitoneal injection of recombinant human EPO (200 IU/kg) (HFD-EPO) thrice a week for four weeks. At 8 weeks, EPO-injected mice showed significantly reduced body weight with reduced epididymal and subcutaneous white fat mass and unchanged caloric intake and locomotor activity. HOMA-IR (insulin resistance index) and glucose levels during intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT) were significantly lower in HFD-EPO mice than in HFD-Con mice. EPO-injected mice also showed increased oxygen consumption, indicative of metabolic rate, and skin temperature around iBAT tissue masses. EPO significantly upregulated the PRD1-BF1-RIZ1 homologous domain containing 16 (PRDM16), a transcriptional factor with a crucial role in brown adipocyte differentiation. EPO significantly increased phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), which is downstream of erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) and known to stabilize PRDM16. EPO's suppression of myocyte enhancer factor 2c (Mef2c) and microRNA-133a (miR-133a) via ?3-adrenergic receptor caused PRDM16 upregulation. EPO-mediated enhancement of EpoR/STAT3 and ?-adrenergic receptor/Mef2c/miR-133 pathways dramatically increases total uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), an essential enzyme for BAT thermogenesis. Furthermore, EPO activated BAT's endocrine functions. EPO facilitated fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) production and excretion in iBAT, associated with reduction of liver gluconeogenesis-related genes. Thus, EPO's improvement of obesity and glucose homeostasis can be attributed to increased iBAT thermogenic capacity and activation of BAT's endocrine functions.

SUBMITTER: Kodo K 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5348037 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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