Beige adipocyte, the third and relatively new type of adipocyte, can emerge in white adipose tissue (WAT) under thermogenic stimulations that is termed as browning of WAT. Recent studies suggest that browning of WAT deserves more attention and therapies targeting browning of WAT can be helpful for reducing obesity. Beyond the major inducers of browning, namely cold and β3-adrenergic stimulation, beige adipocytes are affected by several factors, and excess adiposity per se may also influence the browning process. The objective of the present review is to provide an overview of recent clinical and preclinical studies on the hormonal and non-hormonal factors that affect the browning of WAT. This review further focuses on the role of obesity per se on browning process.
Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in brown or beige adipocytes is a mitochondrial protein that is expected to enhance whole-body energy expenditure. For the high-throughput screening of UCP1 transcriptional activity regulator, we established a murine inguinal white adipose tissue-derived Ucp1-luciferase reporter preadipocyte line. Using this reporter preadipocyte line, 654 flavor compounds were screened, and a novel Ucp1 expression-inducing compound, 5-methylquinoxaline, was identified. Adipocytes treated with 5-methylquinoxaline showed increased Ucp1 mRNA expression levels and enhanced oxygen consumption. 5-methylquinoxaline induced Ucp1 expression through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC1α), and 5-methylquinoxaline-induced PGC1α activation seemed to be partially regulated by its phosphorylation or deacetylation. Thus, our Ucp1-luciferase reporter preadipocyte line is a useful tool for screening of Ucp1 inductive compounds.
SummaryThere are at least two distinct types of thermogenic adipocyte in mammals: a pre-existing form established during development, termed classical brown adipocytes and an inducible form, ‘beige’ adipocytes1–3. Various environmental cues can stimulate a process frequently referred to as ‘beiging’ of white adipose tissue (WAT), leading to enhanced thermogenesis and obesity resistance 4, 5. Whilst beiging of WAT as a therapeutic goal for obesity and obesity-related complications has attracted much attention6–9; therapeutics stimulating beiging without deleterious side-effects remain elusive10. The endothelium lines all blood vessels and is therefore in close proximity to all cells. Many studies support the possibility that the endothelium acts as a paracrine organ11–14. We explored the potential role of endothelial insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) as a paracrine modulator of WAT phenotype. Here we show that a reduction in endothelial IGF-1R expression in the presence of nutrient excess leads to white adipocyte beiging, increases whole-body energy expenditure and enhances insulin sensitivity via a non-cell autonomous paracrine mechanism. We demonstrate that this is mediated by endothelial release of malonic acid, which we show, using prodrug analogues, has potentially therapeutically-relevant properties in the treatment of metabolic disease.
AbstractActivation of thermogenic brown and beige adipocytes is considered as a strategy to improve metabolic control. Here, we identify GPR180 as a receptor regulating brown and beige adipocyte function and whole-body glucose homeostasis, whose expression in humans is associated with improved metabolic control. We demonstrate that GPR180 is not a GPCR but a component of the TGFβ signalling pathway and regulates the activity of the TGFβ receptor complex through SMAD3 phosphorylation. In addition, using genetic and pharmacological tools, we provide evidence that GPR180 is required to manifest Collagen triple helix repeat containing 1 (CTHRC1) action to regulate brown and beige adipocyte activity and glucose homeostasis. In this work, we show that CTHRC1/GPR180 signalling integrates into the TGFβ signalling as an alternative axis to fine-tune and achieve low-grade activation of the pathway to prevent pathophysiological response while contributing to control of glucose and energy metabolism.
Recognized for nearly 100 years, bone marrow adipocytes (BMAs) form bone marrow niches that contain hematopoietic and bone cells, the roles of which have long been underestimated. Distinct from canonical white, brown, and beige adipocytes, BMAs derived from bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells possess unique characteristics and functions. Recent single-cell sequencing studies have revealed the differentiation pathway, and seminal works support the tenet that BMAs are critical regulators in hematopoiesis, osteogenesis, and osteoclastogenesis. In this review, we discuss the origin and differentiation of BMAs, as well as the roles of BMAs in hematopoiesis, osteogenesis, osteoclastogenesis, and immune regulation. Overall, BMAs represent a novel target for bone marrow-related diseases, including osteoporosis and leukemia.
AbstractObesity and type 2 diabetes are associated with disturbances in insulin-regulated glucose and lipid fluxes and severe comorbidities including cardiovascular disease and steatohepatitis. Whole body metabolism is regulated by lipid-storing white adipocytes as well as “brown” and “brite/beige” adipocytes that express thermogenic uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and secrete factors favorable to metabolic health. Implantation of brown fat into obese mice improves glucose tolerance, but translation to humans has been stymied by low abundance of primary human beige adipocytes. Here we apply methods to greatly expand human adipocyte progenitors from small samples of human subcutaneous adipose tissue and then disrupt the thermogenic suppressor gene NRIP1 by CRISPR. Ribonucleoprotein consisting of Cas9 and sgRNA delivered ex vivo are fully degraded by the human cells following high efficiency NRIP1 depletion without detectable off-target editing. Implantation of such CRISPR-enhanced human or mouse brown-like adipocytes into high fat diet fed mice decreases adiposity and liver triglycerides while enhancing glucose tolerance compared to implantation with unmodified adipocytes. These findings advance a therapeutic strategy to improve metabolic homeostasis through CRISPR-based genetic enhancement of human adipocytes without exposing the recipient to immunogenic Cas9 or delivery vectors.
Brown and beige adipocytes are specialized to dissipate energy as heat. Sgk2, encoding a serine/threonine kinase, has been identified as a brown and beige adipocyte-specific gene in rodents and humans; however, its function in brown/beige adipocytes remains unraveled. Here, we examined the regulation and role of Sgk2 in brown/beige adipose tissue thermogenesis. We found that transcriptional coactivators PGC-1α and NT-PGC-1α activated by the β3 adrenergic receptor-cAMP-PKA pathway are recruited to the Sgk2 promoter, triggering Sgk2 transcription in response to cold. SGK2 elevation was closely associated with increased serine/threonine phosphorylation of proteins carrying the consensus RxRxxS/T phosphorylation site. However, despite cold-dependent activation of SGK2, mice lacking Sgk2 exhibited normal cold tolerance at 4°C. In addition, Sgk2+/+ and Sgk2−/− mice induced comparable increases in energy expenditure during pharmacological activation of brown and beige adipose tissue with a β3AR agonist. In vitro loss- and gain-of-function studies further demonstrated that Sgk2 ablation or activation does not alter thermogenic gene expression and mitochondrial respiration in brown adipocytes. Collectively, our results reveal a new signaling component SGK2, although dispensable for cold-induced thermogenesis that adds an additional layer of complexity to the β3AR signaling network in brown/beige adipose tissue.
Background: Fatty infiltration of rotator cuff muscle is a limiting factor in the success of repairs. Fibroadipogenic progenitors (FAPs) are a population of stem cells within the rotator cuff that can differentiate into white adipocytes, fibroblasts, and beige adipocytes. The effects of patient age and rotator cuff tendon tear size on the number, differentiation patterns, and gene expression profiles of FAPs have not yet been analyzed. Purpose: To determine if patient age and rotator cuff tear size independently regulate FAP number, differentiation patterns, and gene expression profiles. Study Design: Controlled laboratory study. Methods: Supraspinatus muscle samples were collected from 26 patients between the ages of 42 and 76 years with partial- or full-thickness rotator cuff tears. FAPs were quantified using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Gene expression analysis was performed across a custom 96-gene panel using NanoString. In vitro differentiation assays of FAPs were conducted using adipogenic, fibrogenic, and beige-inducing (amibegron-treated) media, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to assess gene expression differences between adipogenic and amibegron media conditions. Multivariable linear regressions were performed using Stata to independently analyze the effects of age and rotator cuff tear size on FAP number, differentiation, and gene expression. Results: Increasing age and tear size were independently correlated with increased FAP number (βage = 0.21, P = .03; βtear size = 3.86, P = .05). There was no clear association between age and gene expression of freshly sorted FAPs. Under adipogenic and fibrogenic media conditions, increasing age and tear size were independently associated with increased adipogenic and fibrogenic differentiation of FAPs. Under amibegron treatment conditions, age positively correlated with increased beige differentiation (β = 1.03; P < .0001), while increasing tear size showed a trend toward decreased beige differentiation (β = −4.87; P = .1). When gene expression patterns between adipogenic and amibegron media conditions were compared, larger tear size strongly inhibited beige gene expression, while advanced age did not. Conclusion: Patient age and rotator cuff tear size independently regulated FAP number, differentiation, and gene expression. Age and tear size were positively correlated with increased FAP number and fibrogenic/adipogenic differentiation. Advancing patient age did not limit FAP beige differentiation and gene expression, while increasing rotator cuff tear size strongly inhibited these processes.