Featured ArticlesVolume 5 | No. 5 | May 2016
|Obesogenic memory can confer long-term increases in adipose tissue after weight lossSchmitz and colleagues analyze the effect of caloric restriction in high fat diet-induced obesity in mice. Their experiments reveal that weight reduction efficiently improves systemic glucose tolerance and that insulin sensitivity is improved in the liver upon weight loss but does not equally improve in adipose tissue after weight reduction. While obesity-induced hepatic inflammation resolves upon weight loss, adipose-tissue inflammation persists.|
Abstract | PDF
Objective: Obesity represents a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis and certain cancer entities. Treatment of obesity is hindered by the long-term maintenance of initially reduced body weight, and it remains unclear whether all pathologies associated with obesity are fully reversible even upon successfully maintained weight loss.
Methods: We compared high fat diet-fed, weight reduced and lean mice in terms of body weight development, adipose tissue and liver insulin sensitivity as well as inflammatory gene expression. Moreover, we assessed similar parameters in a human cohort before and after bariatric surgery.
Results: Compared to lean animals, mice that demonstrated successful weight reduction showed increased weight gain following exposure to ad libitum control diet. However, pair-feeding weight-reduced mice with lean controls efficiently stabilized body weight, indicating that hyperphagia was the predominant cause for the observed weight regain. Additionally, whereas glucose tolerance improved rapidly after weight loss, systemic insulin resistance was retained and ameliorated only upon prolonged pair-feeding. Weight loss enhanced insulin action and resolved pro-inflammatory gene expression exclusively in the liver, whereas visceral adipose tissue displayed no significant improvement of metabolic and inflammatory parameters compared to obese mice. Similarly, bariatric surgery in humans (n = 55) resulted in massive weight reduction, improved hepatic inflammation and systemic glucose homeostasis, while adipose tissue inflammation remained unaffected and adipocyte-autonomous insulin action only exhibit minor improvements in a subgroup of patients (42%).
Conclusions: These results demonstrate that although sustained weight loss improves systemic glucose homeostasis, primarily through improved inflammation and insulin action in liver, a remarkable obesogenic memory can confer long-term increases in adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance in mice as well as in a significant subpopulation of obese patients.[Hide abstract]
|Thioesterase superfamily member 1 suppresses cold thermogenesis by limiting the oxidation of lipid droplet-derived fatty acidsOkada and colleagues examine thioesterase superfamily member (Them) 1-mediated regulation of energy expenditure when mice are challenged with cold stress and the mechanism responsible for this effect. They demonstrate that Them1 in brown adipose tissue (BAT) suppresses non-shivering thermogenesis by limiting the oxidation of lipid droplet-derived fatty acids. They propose that Them1 in BAT directly regulates the availability of substrates to be utilized for β-oxidation and uncoupling.|
Abstract | PDF
Objective: Non-shivering thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays a central role in energy homeostasis. Thioesterase superfamily member 1 (Them1), a BAT-enriched long chain fatty acyl-CoA thioesterase, is upregulated by cold and downregulated by warm ambient temperatures. Them1-/- mice exhibit increased energy expenditure and resistance to diet-induced obesity and diabetes, but the mechanistic contribution of Them1 to the regulation of cold thermogenesis remains unknown.
Methods: Them1-/- and Them1+/+ mice were subjected to continuous metabolic monitoring to quantify the effects of ambient temperatures ranging from thermoneutrality (30 °C) to cold (4 °C) on energy expenditure, core body temperature, physical activity and food intake. The effects of Them1 expression on O2 consumption rates, thermogenic gene expression and lipolytic protein activation were determined ex vivo in BAT and in primary brown adipocytes.
Results: Them1 suppressed thermogenesis in mice even in the setting of ongoing cold exposure. Without affecting thermogenic gene transcription, Them1 reduced O2 consumption rates in both isolated BAT and primary brown adipocytes. This was attributable to decreased mitochondrial oxidation of endogenous but not exogenous fatty acids.
Conclusions: These results show that Them1 may act as a break on uncontrolled heat production and limit the extent of energy expenditure. Pharmacologic inhibition of Them1 could provide a targeted strategy for the management of metabolic disorders via activation of brown fat.[Hide abstract]
|White-to-brite conversion in adipocytes promotes metabolic reprogramming Brite (brown-in-white) fat cells may originate from de novo differentiation of precursor cells or arise from direct conversion of mature white fat cells. Barquissau, Beuzelin et al. demonstrate that human mature white adipocytes can be converted into brite cells expressing thermogenic markers and displaying a wide metabolic reprogramming. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 is identified as a crucial mediator redirecting glucose towards triglyceride synthesis, thereby favouring fatty acid use as energy substrate for uncoupling mitochondria. |
Abstract | PDF
Objective: Fat depots with thermogenic activity have been identified in humans. In mice, the appearance of thermogenic adipocytes within white adipose depots (so-called brown-in-white i.e., brite or beige adipocytes) protects from obesity and insulin resistance. Brite adipocytes may originate from direct conversion of white adipocytes. The purpose of this work was to characterize the metabolism of human brite adipocytes.
Methods: Human multipotent adipose-derived stem cells were differentiated into white adipocytes and then treated with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ or PPARα agonists between day 14 and day 18. Gene expression profiling was determined using DNA microarrays and RT-qPCR. Variations of mRNA levels were confirmed in differentiated human preadipocytes from primary cultures. Fatty acid and glucose metabolism was investigated using radiolabelled tracers, Western blot analyses and assessment of oxygen consumption. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) knockdown was achieved using siRNA. In vivo, wild type and PPARa-null mice were treated with a β3-adrenergic receptor agonist (CL316,243) to induce appearance of brite adipocytes in white fat depot. Determination of mRNA and protein levels was performed on inguinal white adipose tissue.
Results: PPAR agonists promote a conversion of white adipocytes into cells displaying a brite molecular pattern. This conversion is associated with transcriptional changes leading to major metabolic adaptations. Fatty acid anabolism i.e., fatty acid esterification into triglycerides, and catabolism i.e., lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation, are increased. Glucose utilization is redirected from oxidation towards glycerol-3-phophate production for triglyceride synthesis. This metabolic shift is dependent on the activation of PDK4 through inactivation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. In vivo, PDK4 expression is markedly induced in wild-type mice in response to CL316,243, while this increase is blunted in PPARα-null mice displaying an impaired britening response.
Conclusions: Conversion of human white fat cells into brite adipocytes results in a major metabolic reprogramming inducing fatty acid anabolic and catabolic pathways. PDK4 redirects glucose from oxidation towards triglyceride synthesis and favors the use of fatty acids as energy source for uncoupling mitochondria.[Hide abstract]
|Inter-domain tagging implicates caveolin-1 in insulin receptor trafficking and Erk signalling bias Boothe et al. investigate the internalization and trafficking of functional insulin receptors (InsR) by labelling InsR proteins between domains with pH-resistant fluorescent proteins and by using antibodies to assess endogenous proteins. Using super-resolution, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF), and confocal imaging, they identify a Cav1-Flot1 trafficking pathway for insulin receptors in pancreatic beta-cells. |
Abstract | PDF
Objective: The role and mechanisms of insulin receptor internalization remain incompletely understood. Previous trafficking studies of insulin receptors involved fluorescent protein tagging at their termini, manipulations that may be expected to result in dysfunctional receptors. Our objective was to determine the trafficking route and molecular mechanisms of functional tagged insulin receptors and endogenous insulin receptors in pancreatic beta-cells.
Methods: We generated functional insulin receptors tagged with pH-resistant fluorescent proteins between domains. Confocal, TIRF and STED imaging revealed a trafficking pattern of inter-domain tagged insulin receptors and endogenous insulin receptors detected with antibodies.
Results: Surprisingly, interdomain-tagged and endogenous insulin receptors in beta-cells bypassed classical Rab5a- or Rab7-mediated endocytic routes. Instead, we found that removal of insulin receptors from the plasma membrane involved tyrosine-phosphorylated caveolin-1, prior to trafficking within flotillin-1-positive structures to lysosomes. Multiple methods of inhibiting caveolin-1 significantly reduced Erk activation in vitro or in vivo, while leaving Akt signaling mostly intact.
Conclusions: We conclude that phosphorylated caveolin-1 plays a role in insulin receptor internalization towards lysosomes through flotillin-1-positive structures and that caveolin-1 helps bias physiological beta-cell insulin signaling towards Erk activation.[Hide abstract]