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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 Nov;84(11):4274-7.

Inhibition of adipocyte differentiation by HIV protease inhibitors.

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Department of Metabolic Disorders, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ 07065, USA.


Patients with AIDS who are receiving therapy with HIV protease inhibitors have been widely reported to be afflicted with a syndrome characterized by lipodystrophy (fat redistribution favoring the accumulation of abdominal and cervical adipose tissue), hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance. HIV protease inhibitors have been suggested to have a direct role in modulating adipocyte differentiation. To address this hypothesis, several HIV protease inhibitors were studied for their ability to either augment or inhibit the differentiation of murine 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Dose-responsive inhibition of adipogenesis by several protease inhibitors was noted as measured by reduced triglyceride accumulation and attenuated induction of three differentiation marker genes -- aP2, lipoprotein lipase, and Adipo Q. Potential mechanisms for altered adipocyte function, including direct binding to PPARgamma or inhibition of PPARgamma-mediated gene transcription were effectively excluded.

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