The AR in bone marrow progenitor cells protects against short-term high-caloric diet-induced weight gain in male mice

in Journal of Molecular Endocrinology
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  • 1 Department of Medicine, Austin Health, University of Melbourne, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
  • | 2 Department of Anatomical Pathology, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to R A Davey: r.davey@unimelb.edu.au
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We previously identified a novel pathway of testosterone action via the androgen receptor (AR) in bone marrow mesenchymal precursor cells (BM-PCs) to negatively regulate fat mass and improve metabolic function in male mice. This was achieved using our PC-AR Gene Replacement mouse model in which the AR is only expressed in BM-PCs and deleted in all other tissues. We hypothesise that the markedly reduced fat mass and increased insulin sensitivity of PC-AR Gene Replacements will confer protection from diet-induced overweight and obesity. To test this, 6-week-old male PC-AR Gene Replacements and controls (WT, global-AR knockouts (KOs)) were fed a chow or high-caloric diet (HCD) for 8 or 18 weeks. Following 8 weeks (short-term) of HCD, WT and Global-ARKOs had markedly increased subcutaneous white adipose tissue (WAT) and retroperitoneal visceral adipose tissue (VAT) mass compared to chow-fed controls. In contrast, PC-AR Gene Replacements were resistant to WAT and VAT accumulation following short-term HCD feeding accompanied by fewer large adipocytes and upregulation of expression of the metabolic genes Acaca and Pnlpa2. Following long-term HCD feeding for 18 weeks, the PC-AR Gene Replacements were no longer resistant to increased WAT and VAT adiposity, however, maintained their improved whole-body insulin sensitivity with an increased rate of glucose disappearance and increased glucose uptake into subcutaneous WAT. In conclusion, the action of testosterone via the AR in BM-PCs to negatively regulate fat mass and improve metabolism confers resistance from short-term diet-induced weight gain and partial protection from long-term diet-induced obesity in male mice.

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