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Diabetes. 2006 Aug;55(8):2159-70.

Liver-specific inhibition of ChREBP improves hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance in ob/ob mice.

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D├ępartement d'Endocrinologie, Institut Cochin, M├ętabolisme et Cancer, 24 rue du Faubourg St. Jacques, Paris 75014, France.


Obesity is a metabolic disorder often associated with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis. Leptin-deficient (ob/ob) mice are a well-characterized mouse model of obesity in which increased hepatic lipogenesis is thought to be responsible for the phenotype of insulin resistance. We have recently demonstrated that carbohydrate responsive element-binding protein (ChREBP) plays a key role in the control of lipogenesis through the transcriptional regulation of lipogenic genes, including acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase. The present study reveals that ChREBP gene expression and ChREBP nuclear protein content are significantly increased in liver of ob/ob mice. To explore the involvement of ChREBP in the physiopathology of hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance, we have developed an adenovirus-mediated RNA interference technique in which short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) were used to inhibit ChREBP expression in vivo. Liver-specific inhibition of ChREBP in ob/ob mice markedly improved hepatic steatosis by specifically decreasing lipogenic rates. Correction of hepatic steatosis also led to decreased levels of plasma triglycerides and nonesterified fatty acids. As a consequence, insulin signaling was improved in liver, skeletal muscles, and white adipose tissue, and overall glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity were restored in ob/ob mice after a 7-day treatment with the recombinant adenovirus expressing shRNA against ChREBP. Taken together, our results demonstrate that ChREBP is central for the regulation of lipogenesis in vivo and plays a determinant role in the development of the hepatic steatosis and of insulin resistance in ob/ob mice.

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