Metabolic heterogeneity of activated beige/brite adipocytes in inguinal adipose tissue

Yun Hee Lee, Sang Nam Kim, Hyun Jung Kwon, James G. Granneman

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Sustained β3 adrenergic receptor (ADRB3) activation simultaneously upregulates fatty acid synthesis and oxidation in mouse brown, beige, and white adipose tissues; however, the cellular basis of this dual regulation is not known. Treatment of mice with the ADRB3 agonist CL316,243 (CL) increased expression of fatty acid synthase (FASN) and medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) protein within the same cells in classic brown and white adipose tissues. Surprisingly, in inguinal adipose tissue, CL-upregulated FASN and MCAD in distinct cell populations: high MCAD expression occurred in multilocular adipocytes that co-expressed UCP1+, whereas high FASN expression occurred in paucilocular adipocytes lacking detectable UCP1. Genetic tracing with UCP1-cre, however, indicated nearly half of adipocytes with a history of UCP1 expression expressed high levels of FASN without current expression of UCP1. Global transcriptomic analysis of FACS-isolated adipocytes confirmed the presence of distinct anabolic and catabolic phenotypes, and identified differential expression of transcriptional pathways known to regulate lipid synthesis and oxidation. Surprisingly, paternally-expressed genes of the non-classical gene imprinted network were strikingly enriched in anabolic phenotypes, suggesting possible involvement in maintaining the balance of metabolic phenotypes. The results indicate that metabolic heterogeneity is a distinct property of activated beige/brite adipocytes that might be under epigenetic control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39794
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 3

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea grant NRF-2014R1A6A3A04056472 (Y.H.L.), by Korea Mouse Phenotyping Project (2013M3A9D5072550) of the Ministry of Science, ICT, Future Planning through the National Research Foundation (Y.H.L.) and National Institutes of Health grants DK076629 and DK062292 (J.G.G.).

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) 2017.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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