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Concept: Resistin


Background Genomewide association studies can be used to identify disease-relevant genomic regions, but interpretation of the data is challenging. The FTO region harbors the strongest genetic association with obesity, yet the mechanistic basis of this association remains elusive. Methods We examined epigenomic data, allelic activity, motif conservation, regulator expression, and gene coexpression patterns, with the aim of dissecting the regulatory circuitry and mechanistic basis of the association between the FTO region and obesity. We validated our predictions with the use of directed perturbations in samples from patients and from mice and with endogenous CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in samples from patients. Results Our data indicate that the FTO allele associated with obesity represses mitochondrial thermogenesis in adipocyte precursor cells in a tissue-autonomous manner. The rs1421085 T-to-C single-nucleotide variant disrupts a conserved motif for the ARID5B repressor, which leads to derepression of a potent preadipocyte enhancer and a doubling of IRX3 and IRX5 expression during early adipocyte differentiation. This results in a cell-autonomous developmental shift from energy-dissipating beige (brite) adipocytes to energy-storing white adipocytes, with a reduction in mitochondrial thermogenesis by a factor of 5, as well as an increase in lipid storage. Inhibition of Irx3 in adipose tissue in mice reduced body weight and increased energy dissipation without a change in physical activity or appetite. Knockdown of IRX3 or IRX5 in primary adipocytes from participants with the risk allele restored thermogenesis, increasing it by a factor of 7, and overexpression of these genes had the opposite effect in adipocytes from nonrisk-allele carriers. Repair of the ARID5B motif by CRISPR-Cas9 editing of rs1421085 in primary adipocytes from a patient with the risk allele restored IRX3 and IRX5 repression, activated browning expression programs, and restored thermogenesis, increasing it by a factor of 7. Conclusions Our results point to a pathway for adipocyte thermogenesis regulation involving ARID5B, rs1421085, IRX3, and IRX5, which, when manipulated, had pronounced pro-obesity and anti-obesity effects. (Funded by the German Research Center for Environmental Health and others.).

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Gene expression, Obesity, Adipose tissue, Adipocyte, Resistin


Stromal vascular fraction (SVF) can easily be obtained from a mini-lipoaspirate procedure of fat tissue. The SVF contains a mixture of cells including ADSCs and growth factors and has been depleted of the adipocyte (fat cell) population. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of administering SVF intra-myocardially into patients with chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy.

Concepts: Protein, Embryo, Secretion, Cytoplasm, Fat, Adipose tissue, Adipocyte, Resistin


The relationship between marrow adipose tissue (MAT) and bone health is poorly understood. We used running exercise to ask whether obesity-associated-MAT can be attenuated via exercise and whether this correlates with gains in bone quantity and quality. C57BL/6 mice were divided into diet-induced obesity (DIO n = 14) vs. low-fat diet (LFD n = 14). After 3 months, 16-week-old mice were allocated to an exercise intervention (LFD-E, DIO-E) or a control group (LFD, DIO) for 6 week (4 groups, n = 7/group). Marrow adipocyte area was 44% higher with obesity (p < 0.0001) and after exercise 33% lower in LFD (p < 0.0001) and 39% lower in DIO (p < 0.0001). In LFD, exercise did not affect adipocyte number, however in DIO, the adipocyte number was 56% lower (p < 0.0001). MAT was 44% higher in DIO measured by osmium-μCT, while exercise associated with reduced MAT (- 23% in LFD, - 48% in DIO, p < 0.05). MAT was additionally quantified by 9.4TMRI, and correlated with osmium-µCT (r = 0.645; p < 0.01). Consistent with higher lipid beta oxidation, perilipin 3 (PLIN3) rose with exercise in tibial mRNA (+ 92% in LFD, +60% in DIO, p < 0.05). Tibial µCT derived trabecular BV/TV was not influenced by DIO, but responded to exercise with an increase of 19% (p < 0.001). DIO was associated with higher cortical periosteal and endosteal volumes 15% (p = 0.012) and 35% (p < 0.01), respectively, but Ct.Ar/Tt.Ar was lower by 2.4% (p < 0.05). There was a trend for higher stiffness (N/m) in DIO, and exercise augmented this further. In conclusion, obesity associated with increases in marrow lipid - measured by osmium-µCT and MRI - and partially due to an increase in adipocyte size, suggesting increased lipid uptake into pre-existing adipocytes. Exercise, associated with smaller adipocytes and less bone lipid, likely invoking increased ß-oxidation and basal lipolysis as evidenced by higher levels of PLIN3. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Obesity, Overweight, Fat, Adipose tissue, Weight loss, Adipocyte, Dieting, Resistin


Activation of the brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS) stimulates energy expenditure through increasing of the resting metabolic rate (RMR), and this effect requires simultaneous suppression of the circulating and/or adipose RAS. To identify the mechanism by which the peripheral RAS opposes RMR control by the brain RAS, we examined mice with transgenic activation of the brain RAS (sRA mice). sRA mice exhibit increased RMR through increased energy flux in the inguinal adipose tissue, and this effect is attenuated by angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2) activation. AT2 activation in inguinal adipocytes opposes norepinephrine-induced uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1) production and aspects of cellular respiration, but not lipolysis. AT2 activation also opposes inguinal adipocyte function and differentiation responses to epidermal growth factor (EGF). These results highlight a major, multifaceted role for AT2 within inguinal adipocytes in the control of RMR. The AT2 receptor may therefore contribute to body fat distribution and adipose depot-specific effects upon cardio-metabolic health.

Concepts: Metabolism, Epidermal growth factor, Fat, Adipose tissue, Angiotensin, Adipocyte, Angiotensin receptor, Resistin


Stromal vascular fraction (SVF) can easily be obtained from a mini-lipoaspirate procedure of fat tissue and platelet rich plasma (PRP) can be obtained from peripheral blood. The SVF contains a mixture of cells including ADSCs and growth factors and has been depleted of the adipocyte (fat cell) population. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of administering SVF and PRP intra-discally into patients with degenerative disc disease.

Concepts: Protein, Blood, Cytoplasm, Fat, Adipose tissue, Adipocyte, Degenerative disc disease, Resistin


The aging process causes an increase in percent body fat, but the mechanism remains unclear. In the present study we examined the impact of aging on BAT thermogenic activity as potential cause for the increase in adiposity. We show that aging is associated with iBAT morphological abnormalities and thermogenic dysfunction. In-vitro experiments revealed that brown adipocyte differentiation is defective in aged mice. Interscapular brown tissue in aged mice is progressively populated by adipocytes bearing white morphological characteristics. Aged mice fail to mobilize intracellular fuel reserves from brown adipocytes and exhibit deficiency in homeothermy. Our results suggest a role for orexin-signaling in the regulation of thermogenesis during aging. Brown fat dysfunction and age-related assimilation of fat mass was accelerated in mice in which orexin-producing neurons were ablated. Conversely, orexin injections in old mice increased multilocular morphology, increased core body temperature, improved cold tolerance, and reduced adiposity. These results argue that BAT can be targeted for interventions to reverse age-associated increase in fat mass.

Concepts: Fat, Adipose tissue, Tissues, Body fat percentage, Adipocyte, Brown adipose tissue, White adipose tissue, Resistin


The adipose tissue is an endocrine organ, and its endocrine function is closely related to type 2 diabetes. Edible Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat. (ECM) possesses several biological properties; however, its effect on adipocytes remains unclear. We investigated the effect of the hot water extract of ECM (HW-ECM) on 3T3-L1 adipocytes. HW-ECM enhanced adipocyte differentiation, adiponectin secretion, and glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 cells. It also increased the mRNA levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), a regulator of adipocyte differentiation, adiponectin transcription, and GLUT4 expression. In addition, HW-ECM increased the mRNA levels of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-delta (C/EBPδ), which induces PPARγ expression, but not C/EBPβ, during early adipocyte differentiation. These results suggest that HW-ECM enhances adipocyte differentiation, adiponectin secretion, and glucose uptake through C/EBPδ-induced PPARγ expression. These effects of HW-ECM on adipocytes suggest that HW-ECM is potentially beneficial for type 2 diabetes.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Insulin, Obesity, Fat, Adipose tissue, Adipocyte, Resistin


To better understand the role of irisin in humans, we examined the effects of irisin in human primary adipocytes and fresh human subcutaneous white adipose tissue (scWAT).

Concepts: Africa, Fat, Adipose tissue, Tissues, Adipocyte, Brown adipose tissue, White adipose tissue, Resistin


Obesity is driven by excess caloric intake, which leads to the expansion of adipose tissue by hypertrophy and hyperplasia. Adipose tissue hyperplasia results from the differentiation of adipocyte precursor cells (APCs) that reside in adipose depots. Investigation into this process has elucidated a network of mostly transcription factors that drive APCs through the differentiation process. Using in vitro and in vivo approaches, our study revealed a signaling pathway that inhibited the initiation of the adipocyte differentiation program. Mouse adipocytes secreted the extracellular protease ADAMTS1, which triggered the production of the cytokine pleiotrophin (PTN) through the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, and promoted proliferation rather than differentiation of APCs. Glucocorticoid exposure in vitro or in vivo reduced ADAMTS1 abundance in adipocytes. In addition, mice fed a high-fat diet showed decreased Adamts1 expression in the visceral perigonadal adipose depot, which expanded by adipogenesis in response to the diet, and increased Adamts1 expression in the subcutaneous inguinal adipose depot, which did not induce adipogenesis. Similar to what occurred in mouse subcutaneous adipose tissue, diet-induced weight gain increased the expression of ADAMTS1, PTN, and certain Wnt target genes in the subcutaneous adipose depot of human volunteers, suggesting the relevance of this pathway to physiological adipose tissue homeostasis and the pathogenesis of obesity. Thus, this pathway functions as a toggle on APCs, regulating a decision between differentiation and proliferation and coordinating the response of adipose tissue to systemic cues.

Concepts: Obesity, Cellular differentiation, Fat, Insulin resistance, Adipose tissue, Adipocyte, Dieting, Resistin


Adipose tissue, best known for its role in fat storage, can also suppress weight gain and metabolic disease through the action of specialized, heat-producing adipocytes. Brown adipocytes are located in dedicated depots and express constitutively high levels of thermogenic genes, whereas inducible ‘brown-like’ adipocytes, also known as beige cells, develop in white fat in response to various activators. The activities of brown and beige fat cells reduce metabolic disease, including obesity, in mice and correlate with leanness in humans. Many genes and pathways that regulate brown and beige adipocyte biology have now been identified, providing a variety of promising therapeutic targets for metabolic disease.

Concepts: Obesity, Fat, Adipose tissue, Adipocyte, Dieting, Brown adipose tissue, Resistin, Adiponectin