Male Brown Fat-Specific Double Knockout of IGFIR/IR: Atrophy, Mitochondrial Fission Failure, Impaired Thermogenesis, and Obesity.
ABSTRACT: It is unknown how the lack of insulin receptor (IR)/insulinlike growth factor I receptor (IGFIR) in a tissue-specific manner affects brown fat development and mitochondrial integrity and function, as well as its effect on the redistribution of the adipose organ and the metabolic status. To address this important issue, we developed IR/IGFIR double-knockout (DKO) in a brown adipose tissue-specific manner. Lack of those receptors caused severe brown fat atrophy, enhanced beige cell clusters in inguinal fat; loss of mitochondrial mass; mitochondrial damage related to cristae disruption; and the loss of proteins involved in autophagosome formation, mitophagy, mitochondrial quality control, and dynamics and thermogenesis. More important, DKO mice showed an impaired thermogenesis upon cold exposure, based on a failure in the mitochondrial fission mechanisms and a much lower uncoupling protein 1 transcription rate and content. As a result, DKO mice under normal conditions showed an obesity susceptibility, revealed by increased body fat mass and insulin resistance. Upon consumption of a high-fat diet, DKO mice displayed frank obesity, as shown by increased body weight, increased adiposity, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and hypertriglyceridemia, all consistent with a metabolic syndrome. Collectively, our data suggest a cause-and-effect relationship between failure in brown fat thermogenesis and increased adiposity and obesity.
Project description:Aging is associated with increased adiposity in white adipose tissues and impaired thermogenesis in brown adipose tissues; both contribute to increased incidences of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Ghrelin is the only known circulating orexigenic hormone that promotes adiposity. In this study, we show that ablation of the ghrelin receptor (growth hormone secretagogue receptor, GHS-R) improves insulin sensitivity during aging. Compared to wild-type (WT) mice, old Ghsr(-/-) mice have reduced fat and preserve a healthier lipid profile. Old Ghsr(-/-) mice also exhibit elevated energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate, yet have similar food intake and locomotor activity. While GHS-R expression in white and brown adipose tissues was below the detectable level in the young mice, GHS-R expression was readily detectable in visceral white fat and interscapular brown fat of the old mice. Gene expression profiles reveal that Ghsr ablation reduced glucose/lipid uptake and lipogenesis in white adipose tissues but increased thermogenic capacity in brown adipose tissues. Ghsr ablation prevents age-associated decline in thermogenic gene expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). Cell culture studies in brown adipocytes further demonstrate that ghrelin suppresses the expression of adipogenic and thermogenic genes, while GHS-R antagonist abolishes ghrelin's effects and increases UCP1 expression. Hence, GHS-R plays an important role in thermogenic impairment during aging. Ghsr ablation improves aging-associated obesity and insulin resistance by reducing adiposity and increasing thermogenesis. Growth hormone secretagogue receptor antagonists may be a new means of combating obesity by shifting the energy balance from obesogenesis to thermogenesis.
Project description:A better understanding of the processes influencing energy expenditure could provide new therapeutic strategies for reducing obesity. As the metabolic activity of the brown adipose tissue (BAT) and skeletal muscle is an important determinant of overall energy expenditure and adiposity, we investigated the role of genes that could influence cellular bioenergetics in these two tissues.We screened for genes that are induced in both the BAT and skeletal muscle during acute adaptive thermogenesis in the mouse by microarray. We used C57BL/6J mice as well as the primary and immortalized brown adipocytes and C2C12 myocytes to validate the microarray data. Further characterization included gene expression, mitochondrial density, cellular respiration and substrate utilization. We also used a Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel to assess in vivo effects on obesity and body fat content.We identified the transcription factor Zbtb16 (also known as Plzf and Zfp14) as being induced in both the BAT and skeletal muscle during acute adaptive thermogenesis. Zbtb16 overexpression in brown adipocytes led to the induction of components of the thermogenic program, including genes involved in fatty acid oxidation, glycolysis and mitochondrial function. Enhanced Zbtb16 expression also increased mitochondrial number, as well as the respiratory capacity and uncoupling. These effects were accompanied by decreased triglyceride content and increased carbohydrate utilization in brown adipocytes. Natural variation in Zbtb16 mRNA levels in multiple tissues across a panel of >100 mouse strains was inversely correlated with body weight and body fat content.Our results implicate Zbtb16 as a novel determinant of substrate utilization in brown adipocytes and of adiposity in vivo.
Project description:Obesity and type 2 diabetes are associated with impaired mitochondrial function in adipose tissue. To study the effects of primary deficiency of mitochondrial energy metabolism in fat, we generated mice with adipose-specific deficiency of fumarate hydratase (FH), an integral Krebs cycle enzyme (AFHKO mice). AFHKO mice have severe ultrastructural abnormalities of mitochondria, ATP depletion in white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue, low WAT mass with small adipocytes, and impaired thermogenesis with large unilocular brown adipocytes. AFHKO mice are strongly protected against obesity, insulin resistance, and fatty liver despite aging and high-fat feeding. AFHKO white adipocytes showed normal lipolysis but low triglyceride synthesis. ATP depletion in normal white adipocytes by mitochondrial toxins also decreased triglyceride synthesis, proportionally to ATP depletion, suggesting that reduced triglyceride synthesis may result nonspecifically from adipocyte energy deficiency. At thermoneutrality, protection from insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis was diminished. Taken together, the results show that under the cold stress of regular animal room conditions, adipocyte-specific FH deficiency in mice causes mitochondrial energy depletion in adipose tissues and protects from obesity, hepatic steatosis, and insulin resistance, suggesting that in cold-stressed animals, mitochondrial function in adipose tissue is a determinant of fat mass and insulin sensitivity.
Project description:Adipose tissue-resident T cells have been recognized as a critical regulator of thermogenesis and energy expenditure, yet the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we show that high-fat diet (HFD) feeding greatly suppresses the expression of disulfide-bond A oxidoreductase-like protein (DsbA-L), a mitochondria-localized chaperone protein, in adipose-resident T cells, which correlates with reduced T cell mitochondrial function. T cell-specific knockout of DsbA-L enhances diet-induced thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and protects mice from HFD-induced obesity, hepatosteatosis, and insulin resistance. Mechanistically, DsbA-L deficiency in T cells reduces IFN-? production and activates protein kinase A by reducing phosphodiesterase-4D expression, leading to increased BAT thermogenesis. Taken together, our study uncovers a mechanism by which T cells communicate with brown adipocytes to regulate BAT thermogenesis and whole-body energy homeostasis. Our findings highlight a therapeutic potential of targeting T cells for the treatment of over nutrition-induced obesity and its associated metabolic diseases.
Project description:The mechanism by which mice, exposed to the cold, mobilize endogenous or exogenous fuel sources for heat production is unknown. To address this issue we carried out experiments using 3 models of obesity in mice: C57BL/6J+/+ (wild-type B6) mice with variable susceptibility to obesity in response to being fed a high-fat diet (HFD), B6. Ucp1-/- mice with variable diet-induced obesity (DIO) and a deficiency in brown fat thermogenesis and B6. Lep-/- with defects in thermogenesis, fat mobilization and hyperphagia. Mice were exposed to the cold and monitored for changes in food intake and body composition to determine their energy balance phenotype. Upon cold exposure wild-type B6 and Ucp1-/- mice with diet-induced obesity burned endogenous fat in direct proportion to their fat reserves and changes in food intake were inversely related to fat mass, whereas leptin-deficient and lean wild-type B6 mice fed a chow diet depended on increased food intake to fuel thermogenesis. Analysis of gene expression in the hypothalamus to uncover a central regulatory mechanism revealed suppression of the Npvf gene in a manner that depends on the reduced ambient temperature and degree of exposure to the cold, but not on adiposity, leptin levels, food intake or functional brown fat.
Project description:Hyperinsulinemia resulting from obesity and insulin resistance is associated with increased risk of many cancers, but the biology underlying this risk is unclear. We hypothesized that increased mRNA levels of the insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGFIR) versus the insulin receptor (IR) or elevated ratio of IR-A:IR-B isoforms in normal rectal mucosa would predict adenoma risk, particularly in individuals with high body mass index (BMI) or plasma insulin.Biopsies from normal rectal mucosa were obtained from consenting patients undergoing routine colonoscopy at University of North Carolina Hospitals (Chapel Hill, NC). Subjects with colorectal adenomas were classified as cases (n = 100) and were matched to adenoma-free controls (n = 98) based on age, sex, and BMI. IGFIR and IR mRNA levels were assessed by qRT-PCR, and IR-A:IR-B mRNA ratios by standard PCR. Plasma insulin and crypt apoptosis were measured by ELISA and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), respectively. Logistic regression models examined relationships between receptor mRNAs, BMI, plasma insulin, and adenoma risk.Unexpectedly, cases were significantly more likely to have lower IGFIR mRNA levels than controls. No overall differences in total IR mRNA or IR-A:IR-B ratios were observed between cases and controls. Interestingly, in patients with high plasma insulin, increased IR-A:IR-B ratio was associated with increased likelihood of having adenomas.Our work shows novel findings that reduced IGFIR mRNA and, during high plasma insulin, increased IR-A:IR-B ratios in normal rectal mucosa are associated with colorectal adenoma risk.Our work provides evidence supporting a link between IGFIR and IR isoform expression levels and colorectal adenoma risk.
Project description:Obesity is a global epidemic that is caused by excessive energy intake or inefficient energy expenditure. Brown or beige fat dissipates energy as heat through non-shivering thermogenesis by their high density of mitochondria. However, how the mitochondrial stress-induced signal is coupled to the cellular thermogenic program remains elusive. Here, we show that mitochondrial DNA escape-induced activation of the cGAS-STING pathway negatively regulates thermogenesis in fat-specific DsbA-L knockout mice, a model of adipose tissue mitochondrial stress. Conversely, fat-specific overexpression of DsbA-L or knockout of STING protects mice against high-fat diet-induced obesity. Mechanistically, activation of the cGAS-STING pathway in adipocytes activated phosphodiesterase PDE3B/PDE4, leading to decreased cAMP levels and PKA signaling, thus reduced thermogenesis. Our study demonstrates that mitochondrial stress-activated cGAS-STING pathway functions as a sentinel signal that suppresses thermogenesis in adipose tissue. Targeting adipose cGAS-STING pathway may thus be a potential therapeutic strategy to counteract overnutrition-induced obesity and its associated metabolic diseases.
Project description:RDH1 is one of the several enzymes that catalyze the first of the two reactions to convert retinol into all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA). Here, we show that Rdh1-null mice fed a low-fat diet gain more weight as adiposity (17% males, 13% females) than wild-type mice by 20 weeks old, despite neither consuming more calories nor decreasing activity. Glucose intolerance and insulin resistance develop following increased adiposity. Despite the increase in white fat pads, epididymal white adipose does not express Rdh1, nor does muscle. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) and liver express Rdh1 at relatively high levels compared to other tissues. Rdh1 ablation lowered body temperatures during ambient conditions. Given the decreased body temperature, we focused on BAT. A lack of differences in BAT adipogenic gene expression between Rdh1-null mice and wild-type mice, including Pparg, Prdm16, Zfp516 and Zfp521, indicated that the phenotype was not driven by brown adipose hyperplasia. Rather, Rdh1 ablation eliminated the increase in BAT atRA that occurs after re-feeding. This disruption of atRA homeostasis increased fatty acid uptake, but attenuated lipolysis in primary brown adipocytes, resulting in increased lipid content and larger lipid droplets. Rdh1 ablation also decreased mitochondrial proteins, including CYCS and UCP1, the mitochondria oxygen consumption rate, and disrupted the mitochondria membrane potential, further reflecting impaired BAT function, resulting in both BAT and white adipose hypertrophy. RNAseq revealed dysregulation of 424 BAT genes in null mice, which segregated predominantly into differences after fasting vs after re-feeding. Exceptions were Rbp4 and Gbp2b, which increased during both dietary conditions. Rbp4 encodes the serum retinol-binding protein-an insulin desensitizer. Gbp2b encodes a GTPase. Because Gbp2b increased several hundred-fold, we overexpressed it in brown adipocytes. This caused a shift to larger lipid droplets, suggesting that GBP2b affects signaling downstream of the ?-adrenergic receptor during basal thermogenesis. Thus, Rdh1-generated atRA in BAT regulates multiple genes that promote BAT adaptation to whole-body energy status, such as fasting and re-feeding. These gene expression changes promote optimum mitochondria function and thermogenesis, limiting adiposity. Attenuation of adiposity and insulin resistance suggests that RDH1 mitigates metabolic syndrome.
Project description:Our current paradigm for obesity assumes that reduced thermogenic capacity increases susceptibility to obesity, whereas enhanced thermogenic capacity protects against obesity. Here we report that elimination of two major thermogenic pathways encoded by the mitochondrial uncoupling protein (Ucp1) and mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (Gdm) result in mice with increased resistance to diet-induced obesity when housed at 28 degrees C, provided prior adaptation occurred at 20 degrees C. Obesity resistant Gdm(-/-).Ucp1(-/-) mice maintained at 28 degrees C have increased energy expenditure, in part through conversion of white to brown adipocytes in inguinal fat. Increased oxygen consumption in inguinal fat cell suspensions and the up-regulation of genes of mitochondrial function and fat metabolism indicated increased thermogenic activity, despite the absence of UCP1, whereas liver and skeletal muscle showed no changes in gene expression. Additionally, comparisons of energy expenditure in UCP1-deficient and wild type mice fed an obesogenic diet indicates that UCP1-based brown fat-based thermogenesis plays no role in so-called diet-induced thermogenesis. Accordingly, a new paradigm for obesity emerges in which the inactivation of major thermogenic pathways force the induction of alternative pathways that increase metabolic inefficiency.
Project description:Previous studies have shown that insulin and IGF-1 signaling in the brain, especially the hypothalamus, is important for regulation of systemic metabolism. Here, we develop mice in which we have specifically inactivated both insulin receptors (IRs) and IGF-1 receptors (IGF1Rs) in the hippocampus (Hippo-DKO) or central amygdala (CeA-DKO) by stereotaxic delivery of AAV-Cre into IRlox/lox/IGF1Rlox/lox mice. Consequently, both Hippo-DKO and CeA-DKO mice have decreased levels of the GluA1 subunit of glutamate AMPA receptor and display increased anxiety-like behavior, impaired cognition, and metabolic abnormalities, including glucose intolerance. Hippo-DKO mice also display abnormal spatial learning and memory whereas CeA-DKO mice have impaired cold-induced thermogenesis. Thus, insulin/IGF-1 signaling has common roles in the hippocampus and central amygdala, affecting synaptic function, systemic glucose homeostasis, behavior, and cognition. In addition, in the hippocampus, insulin/IGF-1 signaling is important for spatial learning and memory whereas insulin/IGF-1 signaling in the central amygdala controls thermogenesis via regulation of neural circuits innervating interscapular brown adipose tissue.