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Yingdi Yuan, Xinguo Cao, Jiaojiao Hu, Jingyun Li, Dan Shen, Lianghui You, Xianwei Cui, Xing Wang, Yahui Zhou, Yao Gao, Lijun Zhu, Pengfei Xu, Chenbo Ji, Xirong Guo and Juan Wen

Obesity is a major risk factor for metabolic diseases, while adipocyte differentiation is closely related to obesity occurrence. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a unique class of transcripts in regulation of various biological processes. Using lncRNA microarray, we found lncRNA AC092159.2 was highly expressed in differentiated HPA-v and located ~247 bp upstream of the TMEM18, which was associated with BMI and obesity. We aimed to explore the role of AC092159.2 in adipogenesis and the underlying mechanisms. The effects of AC092159.2 gain- and loss-of-function on HPA-v adipogenesis were determined with lentivirus and siRNA-mediated cell transduction, respectively. Lipid accumulation was evaluated by oil red O staining; the expression of AC092159.2, TMEM18 and several adipogenesis makers in HPA-v were analyzed by qPCR/Western blot. We found that the expression of AC092159.2 gradually increased during HPA-v differentiation, and its expression in omental adipose tissue was positively related with BMI among 48 human subjects. Overexpression of AC092159.2 promoted adipocytes differentiation while knockdown of it led to an adipogenic defect. Moreover, the expression of AC092159.2 and TMEM18 were positively correlated during adipogenic differentiation. AC092159.2 overexpression boosted TMEM18 expression while AC092159.2 knockdown restrained TMEM18 expression. Further rescue experiments showed that TMEM18 knockdown partially restrained adipogenic differentiation in AC092159.2 overexpressed HPA-v and adipogenic defect caused by AC092159.2 knockdown could be rescued by TMEM18 overexpression. Luciferase reporter assays revealed that AC092159.2 had a transcriptional activation effect on TMEM18. We concluded that lncRNA AC092159.2 promoted human adipocytes differentiation possibly by regulating TMEM18.

Free access

Maria Cernea, Wei Tang, Haiyan Guan and Kaiping Yang

Adipose tissue expansion, resulting from adipocyte hyperplasia and/or hypertrophy, is a hallmark of obesity. Adipocytes are derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) through adipogenesis, a process involving three key steps: proliferation, commitment and differentiation. Although studies have elaborated on the mechanisms regulating adipocyte commitment and differentiation, the factors that control MSC proliferation remain largely unknown. Previously, we demonstrated that bone morphogenetic protein 3 (Bmp3), the expression of which was upregulated in our rat model of hyperplasic visceral adiposity, potently stimulated MSC proliferation. In the present study, we investigate the molecular target of Bmp3. We conducted DNA microarray analysis on MSCs treated with and without Bmp3 and identified WNT1-inducible signaling pathway protein 1 (Wisp1) as a differentially expressed gene, whose expression was upregulated 3.7-fold by Bmp3. Wisp1 is a proliferative agent in various non-adipose cell types and is implicated in adipogenesis. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that Wisp1 mediates Bmp3 stimulation of MSC proliferation. We showed that Bmp3 increased the expression of Wisp1 as early as 3 h following Bmp3 treatment in MSCs. Importantly, the upregulated Wisp1 expression preceded Bmp3-induced MSC proliferation, as determined by [3H]-thymidine incorporation. Furthermore, treatment of MSCs with recombinant Wisp1 led to a concentration-dependent increase in [3H]-thymidine incorporation with a maximal increase of 300%. In addition, siRNA-mediated knockdown of Wisp1 expression attenuated Bmp3-induced MSC proliferation. Taken together, our present findings reveal Wisp1 as a novel target of Bmp3 and suggest that the Bmp3/Wisp1 signaling pathway play a key role in MSC proliferation, and consequently adipogenesis.

Free access

Endong Zhu, Juanjuan Zhang, Jie Zhou, Hairui Yuan, Wei Zhao and Baoli Wang

miR-20a-5p has recently been identified to induce adipogenesis of established adipogenic cell lines in our previous study. However, its role and molecular mechanisms in the regulation of adipocyte lineage commitment of bone marrow-derived stromal cells (BMSCs) still need to be explored. In this report, we demonstrated the expression of miR-20a-5p was promoted gradually during adipogenic differentiation in BMSCs. We also confirmed that miR-20a-5p has a positive function in the adipogenic differentiation of BMSCs by gain-of-function study with overexpression lentivirus or synthetic mimics of miR-20a-5p, and loss-of-function study with sponge lentivirus or synthetic inhibitor of miR-20a-5p. Dual luciferase reporter assay, GFP repression assay and Western blotting suggested Kruppel-like factor 3 (Klf3) was a direct target of miR-20a-5p. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated silencing of Klf3 recapitulated the potentiation of adipogenesis induced by miR-20a-5p overexpression, whereas enhanced expression of Klf3 attenuated the effect of miR-20a-5p. As Klf3 was reported to play an inhibitory role in adipogenesis at the initial stage of differentiation, the findings we present here indicate that miR-20a-5p promotes adipocyte differentiation from BMSCs by targeting and negatively regulating Klf3 in the early phase during the procedure of adipogenesis.

Free access

Lingxia Pang, Lianghui You, Chenbo Ji, Chunmei Shi, Ling Chen, Lei Yang, Fangyan Huang, Yahui Zhou, Jun Zhang, Xiaohui Chen and Xirong Guo

Excessive adipocyte differentiation and proliferation are closely associated with the onset of obesity, which has been partially linked to microRNA expression. In previous studies, using miRNA microarray screening, we found that miR-1275 was significantly decreased in human mature adipocytes. In this study, we examined the role of miR-1275 in adipogenesis. Our results indicated that miR-1275 can inhibit the differentiation of human visceral preadipocytes without affecting their proliferation. ELK1, an E-twenty-six (ETS)-domain transcription factor associated with adipocyte differentiation, was strongly suppressed by miR-1275 in human visceral adipocytes. This was demonstrated via a dual-luciferase reporter assay and pointed to ELK1 as a direct target of miR-1275. Furthermore, miR-1275 expression was significantly diminished in the visceral adipose tissue of overweight and obese human subjects accompanied by a negative correlation with body mass index. These results suggest that miR-1275 could play a future role in the management of obesity, as a novel therapeutic target or biomarker.

Free access

Shulin Zhang, Melinda Chan and Jane E Aubin

The steroid hormone 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) inhibits osteogenesis while stimulating adipogenesis in vitro. We hypothesized that 1,25(OH)2D3 redirects the fate of osteoblast/adipocyte bipotential progenitors and other potential progenitors towards adipogenesis, a process possibly underlying the pathogenesis of osteopenic diseases such as osteoporosis. We therefore tested the global effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 on the recruitment of mesenchymal progenitors including osteogenic, chondrogenic, adipogenic and myogenic lineages (colony forming cell (CFC)-osteoblast (CFC-O), CFC-chondrocyte (CFC-C), CFC-adipocyte (CFC-A), and CFC-myoblast (CFC-M) respectively) in rat calvaria (RC) cell populations using gene expression profiling of single cell-derived colonies. Based on expression of lineage specific transcripts, 86% of single cell-derived colonies in untreated cultures simultaneously co-expressed transcripts of two, three, or four of the mesenchymal lineages tested. The distribution of mesenchymal progenitors in 1,25(OH)2D3-treated cultures was significantly changed compared with the control group, i.e. CFC-O were reduced (from 6 to 0%) and CFC-O/A bipotential (0 to 8.2%), CFC-C (4 to 10.2%) and CFC-Fibroblast (CFC-F) (4 to 16%) were increased. 1,25(OH)2D3 did not affect the frequency of tri- or tetra-lineage colonies. Single lineage CFC-A colonies were not detected in either the control or 1,25(OH)2D3 treatment group under the conditions tested.Since the parietal bones used for cell isolation derive from neuroectoderm, we also analyzed for expression of the neural markers nestin and β3 tubulin in these colonies. Surprisingly, 90% (45 of 50) of the colonies in the control group expressed neural markers, a frequency not changed by 1,25(OH)2D3 treatment. The current studies demonstrate the global and developmental stage-specific effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 on mesenchymal lineage progenitors, and suggest that the effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 on osteogenesis and adipogenesis in RC populations are mediated, at least in part, by increased recruitment of CFC-O/A, but not CFC-A type precursors.

Free access

L Fajas, MB Debril and J Auwerx

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear hormone receptors, initially described as molecular targets for synthetic compounds inducing peroxisome proliferation. PPAR-gamma, the best characterized of the PPARs, plays a crucial role in adipogenesis and insulin sensitization. Furthermore, PPAR-gamma has been reported to affect cell proliferation/differentiation pathways in various malignancies. We discuss in the present review recent advances in the understanding of the function of PPAR-gamma in both cell proliferation and adipocyte differentiation.

Free access

N Salma, H Xiao and A N Imbalzano

The CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) family of transcriptional regulators is critically important for the activation of adipogenic genes during differentiation. The C/EBPβ and δ isoforms are rapidly induced upon adipocyte differentiation and are responsible for activating the adipogenic regulators C/EBPα and peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)γ2, which together activate the majority of genes expressed in differentiating adipocytes. However, mitosis is required following the induction of adipogenesis, and the activation of C/EBPα and PPARγ2 gene expression is delayed until cell division is underway. Previous studies have used electromobility shift assays to suggest that this delay is due, at least in part, to a delay between the induction of C/EBPβ protein levels and the acquisition of DNA binding capacity by C/EBPβ. Here we used in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of the C/EBPα, PPARγ2, resistin, adiponectin, and leptin promoters to examine the kinetics of C/EBP protein binding to adipogenic genes in differentiating cells. In contrast to prior studies, we determined that C/EBPβ and δ were bound to endogenous regulatory sequences controlling the expression of these genes within 1–4 h of adipogenic induction. These results indicated that C/EBPβ and δ bind not only to genes that are induced early in the adipogenic process but also to genes that are induced much later during differentiation, without a delay between induction of C/EBP protein levels and DNA binding by these proteins. We also showed that each of the genes examined undergoes a transition in vivo from early occupancy by C/EBPβ and δ to occupancy by C/EBPα at times that correlate with the induction of C/EBPα protein levels, demonstrating the generality of the transition during adipogenesis and indicating that the binding of specific C/EBP isoforms does not correlate with timing of expression from each gene. We have concluded that C/EBP family members bind to adipogenic genes in vivo in a manner that follows the induction of C/EBP protein synthesis.

Restricted access

Giulia Cantini, Martina Trabucco, Alessandra Di Franco, Edoardo Mannucci and Michaela Luconi

Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs), which are currently used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, have recently been proposed as anti-obesity drugs, due to their relevant effects on weight loss. Furthermore, dual agonists for both GLP-1R and glucagon receptor (GCGR) are under investigation for their promising action on adiposity, although underlying mechanisms still need to be clarified. We have recently demonstrated that GLP-1 and liraglutide interfere with the proliferation and differentiation of human adipose precursors, supporting the hypothesis of a peripheral action of GLP-1RA on weight. Here, we investigated glucagon activity in an in vitro model of primary human adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs). Glucagon significantly inhibited ASC proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner, as evaluated by cell count and thymidine incorporation. When added during in vitro-induced adipogenesis, glucagon significantly reduced adipocyte differentiation, as demonstrated by the evaluation of intracellular fat content and quantitative expression of early and mature adipocyte markers (PPARγ and FABP4, HSL). Notably, the inhibitory effect of glucagon on cell proliferation and adipogenesis was reversed by specific GLP-1R (exendin-9) and GCGR (des-His1-Glu9-glucagon(1–29)) antagonists. The presence of both receptors was demonstrated by Western blot, immunofluorescence and cytofluorimetric analysis of ASCs. In conclusion, we demonstrated a direct inhibitory action of glucagon on the proliferation and differentiation of human adipose precursors, which seems to involve both GLP-1R and GCGR. These findings suggest that the adipose stem compartment is a novel target of glucagon, possibly contributing to the weight loss obtained in vivo with dual GLP-1R/glucagon agonists.

Free access

Silvia Senesi, Paola Marcolongo, Ivana Manini, Rosella Fulceri, Vincenzo Sorrentino, Miklós Csala, Gábor Bánhegyi and Angelo Benedetti

The reductase activity of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (HSD11B1) plays an important role in the growth and differentiation of adipose tissue via the prereceptorial activation of glucocorticoids. This enzyme colocalizes with hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PD) at the luminal surface of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane, and the latter enzyme provides NADPH to the former, which can thus act as an 11β-reductase. It was suggested that, during adipogenesis, the increased expression of H6PD causes a dehydrogenase-to-reductase switch in the activity of HSD11B1. However, only the expression of the HSD11B1 has been extensively studied, and little is known about the expression of H6PD. Here, we investigated the expression and the activity of H6PD in the course of the differentiation of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSCs) and murine 3T3-L1 cells. It was found that H6PD is already present in adipose-derived stem cells and in 3T3-L1 fibroblasts even before the induction of adipogenesis. Moreover, mRNA and protein levels, as well as the microsomal H6PD activities remained unchanged during the differentiation. At the same time a great induction of HSD11B1 was observed in both cell types. The observed constant expression of H6PD suggests that HSD11B1 acts as a reductase throughout the adipogenesis process in human ADMSCs and murine 3T3-L1 cells.

Free access

Luke A Noon, Artem Bakmanidis, Adrian J L Clark, Peter J O’Shaughnessy and Peter J King

The ACTH receptor melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2-R) is a G-protein-coupled receptor principally expressed in the adrenal cortex and the adipocyte, where it stimulates steroidogenesis and lipolysis respectively. The coding region of the murine gene is encoded by a single exon, although three upstream non-coding exons have been documented, one of which is incorporated by alternative splicing in adrenal cells. We have detected a novel transcript in adipocytes, which includes a previously unidentified 86 bp exon upstream of the coding region. This transcript appears with slower kinetics during a time course of differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells and is much more highly expressed in these cells and murine adipose tissues than in the Y1 murine adrenocortical cell line, also it is undetectable in murine foetal testes. Inclusion of this exon extends the 5′ UTR to 468 bp and introduces three upstream open reading frames. These are typical features of mRNAs under translational control and imply that the MC2-R gene is regulated both transcriptionally and post-transcriptionally during adipogenesis.