Thermogenesis-independent metabolic benefits conferred by isocaloric intermittent fasting in ob/ob mice.
ABSTRACT: Intermittent fasting (IF) is an effective dietary intervention to counteract obesity-associated metabolic abnormalities. Previously, we and others have highlighted white adipose tissue (WAT) browning as the main underlying mechanism of IF-mediated metabolic benefits. However, whether IF retains its efficacy in different models, such as genetically obese/diabetic animals, is unknown. Here, leptin-deficient ob/ob mice were subjected to 16 weeks of isocaloric IF, and comprehensive metabolic phenotyping was conducted to assess the metabolic effects of IF. Unlike our previous study, isocaloric IF-subjected ob/ob animals failed to exhibit reduced body weight gain, lower fat mass, or decreased liver lipid accumulation. Moreover, isocaloric IF did not result in increased thermogenesis nor induce WAT browning in ob/ob mice. These findings indicate that isocaloric IF may not be an effective approach for regulating body weight in ob/ob animals, posing the possible limitations of IF to treat obesity. However, despite the lack of improvement in insulin sensitivity, isocaloric IF-subjected ob/ob animals displayed improved glucose tolerance as well as higher postprandial insulin level, with elevated incretin expression, suggesting that isocaloric IF is effective in improving nutrient-stimulated insulin secretion. Together, this study uncovers the insulinotropic effect of isocaloric IF, independent of adipose thermogenesis, which is potentially complementary for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Project description:Intermittent fasting (IF), a periodic energy restriction, has been shown to provide health benefits equivalent to prolonged fasting or caloric restriction. However, our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of IF-mediated metabolic benefits is limited. Here we show that isocaloric IF improves metabolic homeostasis against diet-induced obesity and metabolic dysfunction primarily through adipose thermogenesis in mice. IF-induced metabolic benefits require fasting-mediated increases of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in white adipose tissue (WAT). Furthermore, periodic adipose-VEGF overexpression could recapitulate the metabolic improvement of IF in non-fasted animals. Importantly, fasting and adipose-VEGF induce alternative activation of adipose macrophage, which is critical for thermogenesis. Human adipose gene analysis further revealed a positive correlation of adipose VEGF-M2 macrophage-WAT browning axis. The present study uncovers the molecular mechanism of IF-mediated metabolic benefit and suggests that isocaloric IF can be a preventive and therapeutic approach against obesity and metabolic disorders.
Project description:Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor that functions as a master regulator of the cellular adaptive response to oxidative stress. Our previous studies showed that Nrf2 plays a critical role in adipogenesis by regulating expression of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein ? and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ?. To determine the role of Nrf2 in the development of obesity and associated metabolic disorders, the incidence of metabolic syndrome was assessed in whole-body or adipocyte-specific Nrf2-knockout mice on a leptin-deficient ob/ob background, a model with an extremely positive energy balance. On the ob/ob background, ablation of Nrf2, globally or specifically in adipocytes, led to reduced white adipose tissue (WAT) mass, but resulted in an even more severe metabolic syndrome with aggravated insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and hypertriglyceridemia. Compared with wild-type mice, WAT of ob/ob mice expressed substantially higher levels of many genes related to antioxidant response, inflammation, adipogenesis, lipogenesis, glucose uptake, and lipid transport. Absence of Nrf2 in WAT resulted in reduced expression of most of these factors at mRNA or protein levels. Our findings support a novel role for Nrf2 in regulating adipose development and function, by which Nrf2 controls the capacity of WAT expansion and insulin sensitivity and maintains glucose and lipid homeostasis.
Project description:: Mitochondria play a key role in maintaining energy homeostasis in metabolic tissues, including adipose tissues. The two main types of adipose tissues are the white adipose tissue (WAT) and the brown adipose tissue (BAT). WAT primarily stores excess energy, whereas BAT is predominantly responsible for energy expenditure by non-shivering thermogenesis through the mitochondria. WAT in response to appropriate stimuli such as cold exposure and ?-adrenergic agonist undergoes browning wherein it acts as BAT, which is characterized by the presence of a higher number of mitochondria. Mitochondrial dysfunction in adipocytes has been reported to have strong correlation with metabolic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. Dysfunction of mitochondria results in detrimental effects on adipocyte differentiation, lipid metabolism, insulin sensitivity, oxidative capacity, and thermogenesis, which consequently lead to metabolic diseases. Recent studies have shown that mitochondrial function can be improved by using thiazolidinedione, mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, and dietary natural compounds; by performing exercise; and by controlling caloric restriction, thereby maintaining the metabolic homeostasis by inducing adaptive thermogenesis of BAT and browning of WAT. In this review, we focus on and summarize the molecular regulation involved in the improvement of mitochondrial function in adipose tissues so that strategies can be developed to treat metabolic diseases.
Project description:Visceral fat is considered the genuine and harmful white adipose tissue (WAT) that is associated to development of metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Here, we present a new concept to turn the harmful visceral fat into a beneficial energy consumption depot, which is beneficial for improvement of metabolic dysfunctions in obese mice. We show that low temperature-dependent browning of visceral fat caused decreased adipose weight, total body weight, and body mass index, despite increased food intake. In high-fat diet-fed mice, low temperature exposure improved browning of visceral fat, global metabolism via nonshivering thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and hepatic steatosis. Genome-wide expression profiling showed upregulation of WAT browning-related genes including Cidea and Dio2. Conversely, Prdm16 was unchanged in healthy mice or was downregulated in obese mice. Surgical removal of visceral fat and genetic knockdown of UCP1 in epididymal fat largely ablated low temperature-increased global thermogenesis and resulted in the death of most mice. Thus, browning of visceral fat may be a compensatory heating mechanism that could provide a novel therapeutic strategy for treating visceral fat-associated obesity and diabetes.
Project description: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: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: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:The functional conversion of white adipose tissue (WAT) into a tissue with brown adipose tissue (BAT)-like activity, often referred to as "browning," represents an intriguing strategy for combating obesity and metabolic disease. We demonstrate that thyroid hormone receptor (TR) activation by a synthetic agonist markedly induces a program of adaptive thermogenesis in subcutaneous WAT that coincides with a restoration of cold tolerance to cold-intolerant mice. Distinct from most other browning agents, pharmacological TR activation dissociates the browning of WAT from activation of classical BAT. TR agonism also induces the browning of white adipocytes in vitro, indicating that TR-mediated browning is cell autonomous. These data establish TR agonists as a class of browning agents, implicate the TRs in the browning of WAT, and suggest a profound pharmacological potential of this action.
Project description:Age-related increased adiposity is an important contributory factor in the development of insulin resistance (IR) and is associated with metabolic defects. Caloric restriction (CR) is known to induce weight loss and to decrease adiposity while preventing metabolic risk factors. Here, we show that moderate 20% CR delays early deleterious effects of aging on white and brown adipose tissue (WAT and BAT, respectively) function and improves peripheral IR. To elucidate the role of CR in delaying early signs of aging, young (3 months), middle-aged (12 months), and old (20 months) mice fed al libitum and middle-aged and old mice subjected to early-onset CR were used. We show that impaired plasticity of subcutaneous WAT (scWAT) contributes to IR, which is already evident in middle-aged mice. Moreover, alteration of thyroid axis status with age is an important factor contributing to BAT dysfunction in middle-aged animals. Both defects in WAT and BAT/beige cells are ameliorated by CR. Accordingly, CR attenuated the age-related decline in scWAT function and decreased the extent of fibro-inflammation. Furthermore, CR promoted scWAT browning. In brief, our study identifies the contribution of scWAT impairment to age-associated metabolic dysfunction and identifies browning in response to food restriction, as a potential therapeutic strategy to prevent the adverse metabolic effects in middle-aged animals.
Project description:A potential strategy to treat obesity - and the associated metabolic consequences - is to increase energy expenditure. This could be achieved by stimulating thermogenesis through activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and/or the induction of browning of white adipose tissue (WAT). Over the last years, it has become clear that several metalloproteinases play an important role in adipocyte biology. Here, we investigated the potential role of ADAMTS5.Mice deficient in ADAMTS5 (Adamts5-/-) and wild-type (Adamts5+/+) littermates were kept on a standard of Western-type diet for 15 weeks. Energy expenditure and heat production was followed by indirect calorimetry. To activate thermogenesis, mice were treated with the ?3-adrenergic receptor (?3-AR) agonist CL-316,243 or alternatively, exposed to cold for 2 weeks.Compared to Adamts5+/+ mice, Adamts5-/- mice have significantly more interscapular BAT and marked browning of their subcutaneous (SC) WAT. Thermogenic pathway analysis indicated, in the absence of ADAMTS5, enhanced ?3-AR signaling via activation of the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). Additional ?3-AR stimulation with CL-316,243 promoted browning of WAT in Adamts5+/+ mice but had no additive effect in Adamts5-/- mice. However, cold exposure induced more pronounced browning of WAT in Adamts5-/- mice.These data indicate that ADAMTS5 plays a functional role in development of BAT and browning of WAT. Hence, selective targeting of ADAMTS5 could provide a novel therapeutic strategy for treatment/prevention of obesity and metabolic diseases.