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D T Furuya Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, Avenida Prof. Lineu Prestes 1524, 05508-900 São Paulo, Brazil

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A C Poletto Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, Avenida Prof. Lineu Prestes 1524, 05508-900 São Paulo, Brazil

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H S Freitas Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, Avenida Prof. Lineu Prestes 1524, 05508-900 São Paulo, Brazil

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U F Machado Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, Avenida Prof. Lineu Prestes 1524, 05508-900 São Paulo, Brazil

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Evidences have suggested that the endocannabinoid system is overactive in obesity, resulting in enhanced endocannabinoid levels in both circulation and visceral adipose tissue. The blockade of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) has been proposed for the treatment of obesity. Besides loss of body weight, CB1 antagonism improves insulin sensitivity, in which the glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) plays a key role. The aim of this study was to investigate the modulation of GLUT4-encoded gene (Slc2a4 gene) expression by CB1 receptor. For this, 3T3-L1 adipocytes were incubated in the presence of a highly selective CB1 receptor agonist (1 μM arachidonyl-2′-chloroethylamide) and/or a CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist (0.1, 0.5, or 1 μM AM251, 1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-4-methyl-N-1-piperidinyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide). After acute (2 and 4 h) and chronic (24 h) treatments, cells were harvested to evaluate: i) Slc2a4, Cnr1 (CB1 receptor-encoded gene), and Srebf1 type a (SREBP-1a type-encoded gene) mRNAs (real-time PCR); ii) GLUT4 protein (western blotting); and iii) binding activity of nuclear factor (NF)-κB and sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-1 specifically in the promoter of Slc2a4 gene (electrophoretic mobility shift assay). Results revealed that both acute and chronic CB1 receptor antagonism greatly increased (∼2.5-fold) Slc2a4 mRNA and protein content. Additionally, CB1-induced upregulation of Slc2a4 was accompanied by decreased binding activity of NF-κB at 2 and 24 h, and by increased binding activity of the SREBP-1 at 24 h. In conclusion, these findings reveal that the blockade of CB1 receptor markedly increases Slc2a4/GLUT4 expression in adipocytes, a feature that involves NF-κB and SREBP-1 transcriptional regulation.

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