Jak-TGFβ cross-talk links transient adipose tissue inflammation to beige adipogenesis

Rohollah Babaei, Maximilian Schuster, Irina Meln, Sarah Lerch, Rayane A. Ghandour, Didier F. Pisani, Irem Bayindir-Buchhalter, Julia Marx, Shuang Wu, Gabriele Schoiswohl, Adrian T. Billeter, Damir Krunic, Jan Mauer, Yun Hee Lee, James G. Granneman, Lars Fischer, Beat P. Müller-Stich, Ez Zoubir Amri, Erin E. Kershaw, Mathias HeikenwälderStephan Herzig, Alexandros Vegiopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The transient activation of inflammatory networks is required for adipose tissue remodeling including the "browning" of white fat in response to stimuli such as β3-adrenergic receptor activation. In this process, white adipose tissue acquires thermogenic characteristics through the recruitment of so-called beige adipocytes. We investigated the downstream signaling pathways impinging on adipocyte progenitors that promote de novo formation of adipocytes. We showed that the Jak family of kinases controlled TGFβ signaling in the adipose tissue microenvironment through Stat3 and thereby adipogenic commitment, a function that was required for beige adipocyte differentiation of murine and human progenitors. Jak/Stat3 inhibited TGFβ signaling to the transcription factors Srf and Smad3 by repressing local Tgfb3 and Tgfb1 expression before the core transcriptional adipogenic cascade was activated. This pathway cross-talk was triggered in stromal cells by ATGL-dependent adipocyte lipolysis and a transient wave of IL-6 family cytokines at the onset of adipose tissue remodeling induced by β3-adrenergic receptor stimulation. Our results provide insight into the activation of adipocyte progenitors and are relevant for the therapeutic targeting of adipose tissue inflammatory pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaai7838
JournalScience Signaling
Issue number527
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 24

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (HE 3260/8-1), the Helmholtz Association ("Metabolic Dysfunction"), the Human Frontier Science Program (RGY0082/2014), the Young Teacher Research Program of China Scholarship Council, and an NIH grant (R01DK090166 to E.E.K.).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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