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Biochemistry. 2008 Feb 5;47(5):1259-73. doi: 10.1021/bi701413t. Epub 2008 Jan 11.

Inhibition of lipolysis by palmitate, H2O2 and the sulfonylurea drug, glimepiride, in rat adipocytes depends on cAMP degradation by lipid droplets.

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Sanofi-Aventis Pharma, Therapeutic Department Metabolism, 65926 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


The release of fatty acids and glycerol from lipid droplets (LD) of mammalian adipose cells is tightly regulated by a number of counterregulatory signals and negative feedback mechanisms. In humans unrestrained lipolysis contributes to the pathogenesis of obesity and type II diabetes. In order to identify novel targets for the pharmacological interference with lipolysis, the molecular mechanisms of four antilipolytic agents were compared in isolated rat adipocytes. Incubation of the adipocytes with insulin, palmitate, glucose oxidase (for the generation of H2O2) and the antidiabetic sulfonylurea drug, glimepiride, reduced adenylyl cyclase-dependent, but not dibutyryl-cAMP-induced lipolysis as well as the translocation of hormone-sensitive lipase and the LD-associated protein, perilipin-A, to and from LD, respectively. The antilipolytic activity of palmitate, H2O2 and glimepiride rather than that of insulin was dependent on rolipram-sensitive but cilostamide-insensitive phosphodiesterase (PDE) but was not associated with detectable downregulation of total cytosolic cAMP and insulin signaling via phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase and protein kinase B. LD from adipocytes treated with palmitate, H2O2 and glimepiride were capable of converting cAMP to adenosine in vitro, which was hardly observed with those from basal cells. Conversion of cAMP to adenosine was blocked by rolipram and the 5'-nucleotidase inhibitor, AMPCP. Immunoblotting analysis revealed a limited salt-sensitive association with LD of some of the PDE isoforms currently known to be expressed in rat adipocytes. In contrast, the cAMP-to-adenosine converting activity was stripped off the LD by bacterial phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C. These findings emphasize the importance of the compartmentalization of cAMP signaling for the regulation of lipolysis in adipocytes, in general, and of the involvement of LD-associated proteins for cAMP degradation, in particular.

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