AMP-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) Regulates Energy Metabolism through Modulating Thermogenesis in Adipose Tissue.
ABSTRACT: Obesity occurs when excess energy accumulates in white adipose tissue (WAT), whereas brown adipose tissue (BAT), which is specialized in dissipating energy through thermogenesis, potently counteracts obesity. White adipocytes can be converted to thermogenic "brown-like" cells (beige cells; WAT browning) under various stimuli, such as cold exposure. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a crucial energy sensor that regulates energy metabolism in multiple tissues. However, the role of AMPK in adipose tissue function, especially in the WAT browning process, is not fully understood. To illuminate the effect of adipocyte AMPK on energy metabolism, we generated Adiponectin-Cre-driven adipose tissue-specific AMPK ?1/?2 KO mice (AKO). These AKO mice were cold intolerant and their inguinal WAT displayed impaired mitochondrial integrity and biogenesis, and reduced expression of thermogenic markers upon cold exposure. High-fat-diet (HFD)-fed AKO mice exhibited increased adiposity and exacerbated hepatic steatosis and fibrosis and impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Meanwhile, energy expenditure and oxygen consumption were markedly decreased in the AKO mice both in basal conditions and after stimulation with a ?3-adrenergic receptor agonist, CL 316,243. In contrast, we found that in HFD-fed obese mouse model, chronic AMPK activation by A-769662 protected against obesity and related metabolic dysfunction. A-769662 alleviated HFD-induced glucose intolerance and reduced body weight gain and WAT expansion. Notably, A-769662 increased energy expenditure and cold tolerance in HFD-fed mice. A-769662 treatment also induced the browning process in the inguinal fat depot of HFD-fed mice. Likewise, A-769662 enhanced thermogenesis in differentiated inguinal stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells via AMPK signaling pathway. In summary, a lack of adipocyte AMPK? induced thermogenic impairment and obesity in response to cold and nutrient-overload, respectively, whereas chronic AMPK activation by A-769662 promoted WAT browning in inguinal WAT and protected against HFD-induced obesity and related metabolic dysfunction. These findings reveal a vital role for adipocyte AMPK in regulating the browning process in inguinal WAT and in maintaining energy homeostasis, which suggests that the targeted activation of adipocyte AMPK may be a promising strategy for anti-obesity therapy.
Project description:Obesity is a worldwide epidemic. Promoting browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) contributes to increased energy expenditure and hence counteracts obesity. Here we show that cordycepin (Cpn), a natural derivative of adenosine, increases energy expenditure, inhibits weight gain, improves metabolic profile and glucose tolerance, decreases WAT mass and adipocyte size, and enhances cold tolerance in normal and high-fat diet-fed mice. Cpn markedly increases the surface temperature around the inguinal WAT and turns the inguinal fat browner. Further investigations show that Cpn induces the development of brown-like adipocytes in inguinal and, to a less degree, epididymal WAT depots. Cpn also increases the expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and other thermogenic genes in WAT and 3T3-L1 differentiated adipocytes, in which AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays an important role. Our results provide novel insights into the function of Cpn in regulating energy balance, and suggest a potential utility of Cpn in the treatment of obesity.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Cold and ?3-adrenergic receptor (AR) agonists activate beige adipocyte biogenesis in white adipose tissue (WAT). The two stimuli also induce expression of inflammatory cytokines in WAT. The low-grade inflammation may further promote WAT browning. However, the mechanisms to reconcile these two biological processes remain to be elucidated. In this study, we aim to investigate the roles of the rate-limiting polyamine catabolic enzyme spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SAT1) in regulating beige adipocyte biogenesis and inflammation. METHODS:Adipose-specific SAT1 knockout mice (SAT1-aKO) were generated by crossing adiponectin-cre to SAT1-lox/lox mice. Metabolic phenotype was investigated. Primary pre-adipocytes were isolated from inguinal WAT (iWAT) and differentiated to adipocytes for studying beige adipocyte biogenesis. RESULT:The expression and enzymatic activity of SAT1 were up-regulated in iWAT upon cold and ?3-AR stimulation. SAT1-aKO mice developed late-onset obesity on a high-fat diet with impaired cold-induced beige adipocyte biogenesis and energy expenditure. RNA-seq analysis of iWAT from cold-challenged SAT1-aKO mice revealed that, in addition to beige adipocyte biogenesis signatures, the immune response markers were highly enriched among reduced genes. In cultured adipocytes, SAT1 overexpression or pharmacological activation with N1, N11-diethylnorspermine (DENSpm) elevated oxygen consumption and increased the expression of beige adipocyte marker UCP1 and PGC-1?. DENSpm treatment of adipocytes also increased the expression of inflammatory genes. SAT1 activation enhanced hydrogen peroxide production in adipocytes. Antioxidant N-acetylcysteine abrogated the elevated UCP1 expression and reversed some inflammatory genes induced by SAT1 activation. CONCLUSIONS:SAT1 activation plays a key role in cold and ?3-AR agonist-induced beige adipocyte biogenesis and low-grade inflammation.
Project description:Fat remodeling has been extensively explored through protein deacetylation, but not yet acetylation, as a viable therapeutic approach in the management of obesity and related metabolic disorders. Here, we investigated the functions of key acetyltransferases CBP/p300 in adipose remodeling and their physiological effects by generating adipose-specific deletion of CBP (Cbp-AKO), p300 (p300-AKO) and double-knockout (Cbp/p300-AKO) models. We demonstrated that Cbp-AKO exhibited marked brown remodeling of inguinal WAT (iWAT) but not epididymal WAT (eWAT) after cold exposure and that this pattern was exaggerated in diet-induced obesity (DIO). Despite this striking browning phenotype, loss of Cbp was insufficient to impact body weight or glucose tolerance. In contrast, ablation of p300 in adipose tissues had minimal effects on fat remodeling and adiposity. Surprisingly, double-knockout mice (Cbp/p300-AKO) developed severe lipodystrophy along with marked hepatic steatosis, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Furthermore, we demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of Cbp and p300 activity suppressed adipogenesis. Collectively, these data suggest that (i) CBP, but not p300, has distinct functions in regulating fat remodeling and that this occurs in a depot-selective manner; (ii) brown remodeling occurs independently of the improvements in glucose metabolism and obesity and (iii) the combined roles of CBP and p300 are indispensable for normal adipose development.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The T-box gene Tbx15 is abundantly expressed in adipose tissues, especially subcutaneous and brown fat. Although its expression is correlated with obesity, its precise biological role in adipose tissue is poorly understood in vivo. Here we investigated the function of Tbx15 in brown adipose thermogenesis and white adipose browning in vivo. METHODS:In the present study, we generated adipose-specific Tbx15 knockout (AKO) mice by crossing Tbx15 floxed mice with adiponectin-Cre mice to delineate Tbx15 function in adipose tissues. We systematically investigated the influence of Tbx15 on brown adipose thermogenesis and white adipose browning in mice, as well as the possible underlying molecular mechanism. RESULTS:Upon cold exposure, adipocyte browning in inguinal adipose tissue was significantly impaired in Tbx15 AKO mice. Furthermore, ablation of Tbx15 blocked adipocyte browning induced by β3 adrenergic agonist CL 316243, which did not appear to alter the expression of Tbx15. Analysis of DNA binding sites using chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP) revealed that TBX15 bound directly to a key region in the Prdm16 promoter, indicating it regulates transcription of Prdm16, the master gene for adipocyte thermogenesis and browning. Compared to control mice, Tbx15 AKO mice displayed increased body weight gain and decreased whole body energy expenditure in response to high fat diets. CONCLUSION:Taken together, these findings suggest that Tbx15 regulates adipocyte browning and might be a potential target for the treatment of obesity.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Chronic cold exposure causes white adipose tissue (WAT) to adopt features of brown adipose tissue (BAT), a process known as browning. Previous studies have hinted at a possible role for the transcription factor Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor alpha (PPAR?) in cold-induced browning. Here we aimed to investigate the importance of PPAR? in driving transcriptional changes during cold-induced browning in mice. METHODS:Male wildtype and PPAR?-/- mice were housed at thermoneutrality (28 °C) or cold (5 °C) for 10 days. Whole genome expression analysis was performed on inguinal WAT. In addition, other analyses were carried out. Whole genome expression data of livers of wildtype and PPAR?-/- mice fasted for 24 h served as positive control for PPAR?-dependent gene regulation. RESULTS:Cold exposure increased food intake and decreased weight of BAT and WAT to a similar extent in wildtype and PPAR?-/- mice. Except for plasma non-esterified fatty acids, none of the cold-induced changes in plasma metabolites were dependent on PPAR? genotype. Histological analysis of inguinal WAT showed clear browning upon cold exposure but did not reveal any morphological differences between wildtype and PPAR?-/- mice. Transcriptomics analysis of inguinal WAT showed a marked effect of cold on overall gene expression, as revealed by principle component analysis and hierarchical clustering. However, wildtype and PPAR?-/- mice clustered together, even after cold exposure, indicating a similar overall gene expression profile in the two genotypes. Pathway analysis revealed that cold upregulated pathways involved in energy usage, oxidative phosphorylation, and fatty acid ?-oxidation to a similar extent in wildtype and PPAR?-/- mice. Furthermore, cold-mediated induction of genes related to thermogenesis such as Ucp1, Elovl3, Cox7a1, Cox8, and Cidea, as well as many PPAR target genes, was similar in wildtype and PPAR?-/- mice. Finally, pharmacological PPAR? activation had a minimal effect on expression of cold-induced genes in murine WAT. CONCLUSION:Cold-induced changes in gene expression in inguinal WAT are unaltered in mice lacking PPAR?, indicating that PPAR? is dispensable for cold-induced browning.
Project description:Sodium-glucose cotransporter (SGLT) 2 inhibitors increase urinary glucose excretion (UGE), leading to blood glucose reductions and weight loss. However, the impacts of SGLT2 inhibition on energy homeostasis and obesity-induced insulin resistance are less well known. Here, we show that empagliflozin, a SGLT2 inhibitor, enhanced energy expenditure and attenuated inflammation and insulin resistance in high-fat-diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. C57BL/6J mice were pair-fed a high-fat diet (HFD) or a HFD with empagliflozin for 16weeks. Empagliflozin administration increased UGE in the DIO mice, whereas it suppressed HFD-induced weight gain, insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis. Moreover, empagliflozin shifted energy metabolism towards fat utilization, elevated AMP-activated protein kinase and acetyl-CoA carbolxylase phosphorylation in skeletal muscle, and increased hepatic and plasma fibroblast growth factor 21 levels. Importantly, empagliflozin increased energy expenditure, heat production, and the expression of uncoupling protein 1 in brown fat and in inguinal and epididymal white adipose tissue (WAT). Furthermore, empagliflozin reduced M1-polarized macrophage accumulation while inducing the anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype of macrophages within WAT and liver, lowering plasma TNF? levels and attenuating obesity-related chronic inflammation. Thus, empagliflozin suppressed weight gain by enhancing fat utilization and browning and attenuated obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance by polarizing M2 macrophages in WAT and liver.
Project description:Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) initiates intracellular triglyceride (TG) catabolism. In humans, ATGL deficiency causes neutral lipid storage disease with myopathy (NLSDM) characterized by a systemic TG accumulation. Mice with a genetic deletion of ATGL (AKO) also accumulate TG in many tissues. However, neither NLSDM patients nor AKO mice are exceedingly obese. This phenotype is unexpected considering the importance of the enzyme for TG catabolism in white adipose tissue (WAT). In this study, we identified the counteracting mechanisms that prevent excessive obesity in the absence of ATGL. We used "healthy" AKO mice expressing ATGL exclusively in cardiomyocytes (AKO/cTg) to circumvent the cardiomyopathy and premature lethality observed in AKO mice. AKO/cTg mice were protected from high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity despite complete ATGL deficiency in WAT and normal adipocyte differentiation. AKO/cTg mice were highly insulin sensitive under hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp conditions, eliminating insulin insensitivity as a possible protective mechanism. Instead, reduced food intake and altered signaling by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-?) and sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c in WAT accounted for the phenotype. These adaptations led to reduced lipid synthesis and storage in WAT of HFD-fed AKO/cTg mice. Treatment with the PPAR-? agonist rosiglitazone reversed the phenotype. These results argue for the existence of an adaptive interdependence between lipolysis and lipid synthesis. Pharmacological inhibition of ATGL may prove useful to prevent HFD-induced obesity and insulin resistance.
Project description:Brown adipocytes dissipate energy as heat and hence have an important therapeutic capacity for obesity. Development of brown-like adipocytes (also called beige) is also another attractive target for obesity treatment. Here, we investigated the effect of farnesol, an isoprenoid, on adipogenesis in adipocytes and on the browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) as well as on the weight gain of high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice. Farnesol inhibited adipogenesis and the related key regulators including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR?) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein ? through the up-regulation of AMP-activated protein kinase in 3T3-L1 murine adipocytes and human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSCs). Farnesol markedly increased the expression of uncoupling protein 1 and PPAR? coactivator 1 ? in differentiated hAMSCs. In addition, farnesol limited the weight gain in HFD obese mice and induced the development of beige adipocytes in both inguinal and epididymal WAT. These results suggest that farnesol could be a potential therapeutic agent for obesity treatment.
Project description:Enhancing energy expenditure (EE) is an attractive strategy to combat obesity and diabetes. Global deletion of Ip6k1 protects mice from diet-induced obesity (DIO) and insulin resistance, but the tissue-specific mechanism by which IP6K1 regulates body weight is unknown. Here, we have demonstrated that IP6K1 regulates fat accumulation by modulating AMPK-mediated adipocyte energy metabolism. Cold exposure led to downregulation of Ip6k1 in murine inguinal and retroperitoneal white adipose tissue (IWAT and RWAT) depots. Adipocyte-specific deletion of Ip6k1 (AdKO) enhanced thermogenic EE, which protected mice from high-fat diet-induced weight gain at ambient temperature (23°C), but not at thermoneutral temperature (30°C). AdKO-induced increases in thermogenesis also protected mice from cold-induced decreases in body temperature. UCP1, PGC1?, and other markers of browning and thermogenesis were elevated in IWAT and RWAT of AdKO mice. Cold-induced activation of sympathetic signaling was unaltered, whereas AMPK was enhanced, in AdKO IWAT. Moreover, beige adipocytes from AdKO IWAT displayed enhanced browning, which was diminished by AMPK depletion. Furthermore, we determined that IP6 and IP6K1 differentially regulate upstream kinase-mediated AMPK stimulatory phosphorylation in vitro. Finally, treating mildly obese mice with the IP6K inhibitor TNP enhanced thermogenesis and inhibited progression of DIO. Thus, IP6K1 regulates energy metabolism via a mechanism that could potentially be targeted in obesity.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In mammals, cold exposure induces browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) and alters WAT gene expression and lipid metabolism to boost adaptive thermogenesis and maintain body temperature. Understanding the lipidomic and transcriptomic profiles of WAT upon cold exposure provides insights into the adaptive changes associated with this process.<h4>Results</h4>Here, we applied mass spectrometry and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to provide a comprehensive resource for describing the lipidomic or transcriptome profiles in cold-induced inguinal WAT (iWAT). We showed that short-term (3-day) cold exposure induces browning of iWAT, increases energy expenditure, and results in loss of body weight and fat mass. Lipidomic analysis shows that short-term cold exposure leads to dramatic changes of the overall composition of lipid classes WAT. Notably, cold exposure induces significant changes in the acyl-chain composition of triacylglycerols (TAGs), as well as the levels of glycerophospholipids and sphingolipids in iWAT. RNA-seq and qPCR analysis suggests that short-term cold exposure alters the expression of genes and pathways involved in fatty acid elongation, and the synthesis of TAGs, sphingolipids, and glycerophospholipids. Furthermore, the cold-induced lipid dynamics and gene expression pathways in iWAT are contrary to those previously observed in metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative disorders, and aging, suggesting beneficial effects of cold-induced WAT browning on health and lifespan.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We described the significant alterations in the composition of glyphospholipids, glycerolipids, and sphingolipids and expression of genes involved in thermogenesis, fatty acid elongation, and fatty acid metabolism during the response of iWAT to short-term cold exposure. We also found that some changes in the levels of specific lipid species happening after cold treatment of iWAT are negatively correlated to metabolic diseases, including obesity and T2D.