Cold-Activated Lipid Dynamics in Adipose Tissue Highlights a Role for Cardiolipin in Thermogenic Metabolism.
ABSTRACT: Thermogenic fat expends energy during cold for temperature homeostasis, and its activity regulates nutrient metabolism and insulin sensitivity. We measured cold-activated lipid landscapes in circulation and in adipose tissue by MS/MSALL shotgun lipidomics. We created an interactive online viewer to visualize the changes of specific lipid species in response to cold. In adipose tissue, among the approximately 1,600 lipid species profiled, we identified the biosynthetic pathway of the mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin as coordinately activated in brown and beige fat by cold in wild-type and transgenic mice with enhanced browning of white fat. Together, these data provide a comprehensive lipid bio-signature of thermogenic fat activation in circulation and tissue and suggest pathways regulated by cold exposure.
Project description:Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are emerging regulators of adipose tissue metabolism. Here we aimed to explore the role of CDK7 in thermogenic fat. We found that CDK7 brown adipose tissue (BAT)-specific knockout mice (Cdk7bKO) have decreased BAT mass and impaired ?3-adrenergic signaling and develop hypothermia upon cold exposure. We found that loss of CDK7 in BAT disrupts the induction of thermogenic genes in response to cold. However, Cdk7bKO mice do not show systemic metabolic dysfunction. Increased expression of genes of the creatine metabolism compensates for the heat generation in the BAT of Cdk7bKO mice in response to cold. Finally, we show that CDK7 is required for beta 3-adrenergic agonist-induced browning of white adipose tissue (WAT). Indeed, Cdk7 ablation in all adipose tissues (Cdk7aKO) has impaired browning in WAT. Together, our results demonstrate that CDK7 is an important mediator of beta-adrenergic signaling in thermogenic brown and beige fat.
Project description:Enhanced energy expenditure in brown (BAT) and white adipose tissues (WAT) can be therapeutic against metabolic diseases. We examined the thermogenic role of adipose ?/?-hydrolase domain 6 (ABHD6), which hydrolyzes monoacylglycerol (MAG), by employing adipose-specific ABHD6-KO mice. Control and KO mice showed similar phenotypes at room temperature and thermoneutral conditions. However, KO mice were resistant to hypothermia, which can be accounted for by the simultaneously increased lipolysis and lipogenesis of the thermogenic glycerolipid/free fatty acid (GL/FFA) cycle in visceral fat, despite unaltered uncoupling protein 1 expression. Upon cold stress, nuclear 2-MAG levels increased in visceral WAT of the KO mice. Evidence is provided that 2-MAG causes activation of PPAR? in white adipocytes, leading to elevated expression and activity of GL/FFA cycle enzymes. In the ABHD6-ablated BAT, glucose and oxidative metabolism were elevated upon cold induction, without changes in GL/FFA cycle and lipid turnover. Moreover, response to in vivo ?3-adrenergic stimulation was comparable between KO and control mice. Our data reveal a MAG/PPAR?/GL/FFA cycling metabolic signaling network in visceral adipose tissue, which contributes to cold tolerance, and that adipose ABHD6 is a negative modulator of adaptive thermogenesis.
Project description:Brown adipose tissue (BAT), as the main site of adaptive thermogenesis, exerts beneficial metabolic effects on obesity and insulin resistance. BAT has been previously assumed to contain a homogeneous population of brown adipocytes. Utilizing multiple mouse models capable of genetically labeling different cellular populations, as well as single-cell RNA sequencing and 3D tissue profiling, we discovered a brown adipocyte subpopulation with low thermogenic activity coexisting with the classical high-thermogenic brown adipocytes within the BAT. Compared with the high-thermogenic brown adipocytes, these low-thermogenic brown adipocytes had substantially lower Ucp1 and Adipoq expression, larger lipid droplets, and lower mitochondrial content. Functional analyses showed that, unlike the high-thermogenic brown adipocytes, the low-thermogenic brown adipocytes have markedly lower basal mitochondrial respiration, and they are specialized in fatty acid uptake. Upon changes in environmental temperature, the 2 brown adipocyte subpopulations underwent dynamic interconversions. Cold exposure converted low-thermogenic brown adipocytes into high-thermogenic cells. A thermoneutral environment had the opposite effect. The recruitment of high-thermogenic brown adipocytes by cold stimulation is not affected by high-fat diet feeding, but it does substantially decline with age. Our results revealed a high degree of functional heterogeneity of brown adipocytes.
Project description:<b>Objective: </b>To determine the role of enterokine FGF15/19 in adipose tissue thermogenic adaptations.<br><br><b>Methods: </b>Circulating FGF19 and gene expression (qRT-PCR) levels were assessed in subcutaneous adipose tissue from obese human patients. Effects of experimentally increased FGF15 and FGF19 levels in vivo were determined in mice using adenoviral and adeno-associated vectors. Adipose tissues were characterized in FGF15-null mice under distinct cold-related thermogenic challenges. The analyses spanned metabolic profiling, tissue characterization, histology, gene expression, and immunoblot assays.<br><br><b>Results: </b>In humans, FGF19 levels are directly associated with UCP1 gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue. Experimental increases in FGF15 or FGF19 induced white fat browning in mice as demonstrated by the appearance of multilocular beige cells and markers indicative of a beige phenotype, including increased UCP1 protein levels. Mice lacking FGF15 showed markedly impaired white adipose tissue browning and a mild reduction in parameters indicative of BAT activity in response to cold-induced environmental thermogenic challenges. This was concomitant with signs of altered systemic metabolism, such as reduced glucose tolerance and impaired cold-induced insulin sensitization.<br><br><b>Conclusions: </b>Enterokine FGF15/19 is a key factor required for adipose tissue plasticity in response to thermogenic adaptations.
Project description:Increasing evidence suggests natriuretic peptides (NPs) coordinate inter-organ metabolic crosstalk with adipose tissues and play a critical role in energy metabolism. We recently reported A-type NP (ANP) raises intracellular temperature in cultured adipocytes in a low-temperature-sensitive manner. We herein investigated whether exogenous ANP-treatment exerts a significant impact on adipose tissues in vivo. Mice fed a high-fat-diet (HFD) or normal-fat-diet (NFD) for 13 weeks were treated with or without ANP infusion subcutaneously for another 3 weeks. ANP-treatment significantly ameliorated HFD-induced insulin resistance. HFD increased brown adipose tissue (BAT) cell size with the accumulation of lipid droplets (whitening), which was suppressed by ANP-treatment (re-browning). Furthermore, HFD induced enlarged lipid droplets in inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT), crown-like structures in epididymal WAT, and hepatic steatosis, all of which were substantially attenuated by ANP-treatment. Likewise, ANP-treatment markedly increased UCP1 expression, a specific marker of BAT, in iWAT (browning). ANP also further increased UCP1 expression in BAT with NFD. Accordingly, cold tolerance test demonstrated ANP-treated mice were tolerant to cold exposure. In summary, exogenous ANP administration ameliorates HFD-induced insulin resistance by attenuating hepatic steatosis and by inducing adipose tissue browning (activation of the adipose tissue thermogenic program), leading to in vivo thermogenesis during cold exposure.
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: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:Beige adipocytes can dissipate energy as heat. Elaborate communication between metabolism and gene expression is important in the regulation of beige adipocytes. Although lipid droplet (LD) binding proteins play important roles in adipose tissue biology, it remains unknown whether perilipin 3 (Plin3) is involved in the regulation of beige adipocyte formation and thermogenic activities. In this study, we demonstrate that Plin3 ablation stimulates beige adipocytes and thermogenic gene expression in inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT). Compared with wild-type mice, Plin3 knockout mice were cold tolerant and displayed enhanced basal and stimulated lipolysis in iWAT, inducing peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) activation. In adipocytes, Plin3 deficiency promoted PPARα target gene and uncoupling protein 1 expression and multilocular LD formation upon cold stimulus. Moreover, fibroblast growth factor 21 expression and secretion were upregulated, which was attributable to activated PPARα in Plin3-deficient adipocytes. These data suggest that Plin3 acts as an intrinsic protective factor preventing futile beige adipocyte formation by limiting lipid metabolism and thermogenic gene expression.
Project description:In response to cold or diet, fatty acids are dissipated into heat through uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in brown adipose tissue (BAT). This process is termed non-shivering thermogenesis, which is important for body temperature maintenance and contributes to obesity pathogenesis. Thermogenic enhancement has been considered a promising anti-obesity strategy. Ghrelin and its receptor Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptor (GHS-R) have critical roles in energy intake, nutrient sensing, and lipid metabolism. We previously reported that global Ghsr-knockout mice have increased energy expenditure due to enhanced thermogenesis. To determine the site of action for GHS-R mediated thermogenesis, we generated brown adipocyte-specific Ghsr knockout mice (UCP1-CreER/Ghsrf/f) and assessed thermogenic responses under regular diet (RD) fed homeostatic metabolic state or high-fat diet (HFD) fed metabolically-impaired obese state, under normal or cold housing environment. Under a RD-feeding, UCP1-CreER/Ghsrf/f mice showed increased body fat and a slightly elevated core body temperature under cold but not under normal temperature. Consistently, the expression of thermogenic genes in BAT of RD-fed UCP1-CreER/Ghsrf/f mice was increased in reposes to cold. Under HFD feeding, HFD-fed UCP1-CreER/Ghsrf/f mice showed no difference in body fat or body temperature under either normal or cold exposure. Interestingly, the expression of thermogenic genes in BAT of HFD-fed UCP1-CreER/Ghsrf/f mice was upregulated under normal temperature but downregulated under cold exposure. Overall, our data show that GHS-R has cell-autonomous effect in brown adipocytes, and GHS-R regulates BAT thermogenic activity in a temperature- and metabolic state-dependent manner. The thermogenic effect of GHS-R in BAT is more pronounced in cold environment and differentially variable based on metabolic state; under cold exposure, GHS-R inhibition in BAT activates thermogenesis under homeostatic state but suppresses thermogenesis under obese state. Our finding collectively suggests that GHS-R in BAT, acting as a "metabolic thermostat", differentially regulates thermogenesis in response to different metabolic and thermal stimuli.
Project description:Cold exposure stress causes hypothermia, cognitive impairment, liver injury, and cardiovascular diseases, thereby increasing morbidity and mortality. Paradoxically, cold acclimation is believed to confer metabolic improvement to allow individuals to adapt to cold, harsh conditions and to protect them from cold stress-induced diseases. However, the therapeutic strategy to enhance cold acclimation remains less studied. Here, we demonstrate that the mitochondrial-derived peptide MOTS-c efficiently promotes cold adaptation. Following cold exposure, the improvement of adipose non-shivering thermogenesis facilitated cold adaptation. MOTS-c, a newly identified peptide, is secreted by mitochondria. In this study, we observed that the level of MOTS-c in serum decreased after cold stress. MOTS-c treatment enhanced cold tolerance and reduced lipid trafficking to the liver. In addition, MOTS-c dramatically upregulated brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenic gene expression and increased white fat "browning". This effect might have been mediated by MOTS-c-activated phosphorylation of the ERK signaling pathway. The inhibition of ERK signaling disturbed the up-regulatory effect of MOTS-c on thermogenesis. In summary, our results indicate that MOTS-c treatment is a potential therapeutic strategy for defending against cold stress by increasing the adipose thermogenesis via the ERK pathway.