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Int J Obes (Lond). 2011 Jun;35(6):877-81. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2010.215. Epub 2010 Oct 12.

Pancreatic acinar cell-specific overexpression of group 1B phospholipase A2 exacerbates diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in mice.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Metabolic Diseases Institute, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45237, USA.


Genome-wide association studies have identified significant association between polymorphisms of the Group 1B phospholipase A(2) (PLA2G1B) gene and central obesity in humans. Previous studies have shown that Pla2g1b inactivation decreases post-prandial lysophospholipid absorption, and as a consequence increases hepatic fatty acid oxidation and protects against diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance in mice. The present study showed that transgenic mice with pancreatic acinar cell-specific overexpression of the human PLA2G1B gene gained significantly more weight and displayed elevated insulin resistance characteristics, such as impaired glucose tolerance, compared with wild-type (WT) mice, when challenged with a high-fat/carbohydrate diet. Pre- and post-prandial plasma β-hydroxybutyrate levels were also lower, indicative of decreased hepatic fatty acid oxidation, in the hypercaloric diet-fed PLA2G1B transgenic mice. These, along with earlier observations of Pla2g1b-null mice, document that Pla2g1b expression level is an important determinant of susceptibility to diet-induced obesity and diabetes, suggesting that the relationship between PLA2G1B polymorphisms and obesity may be due to differences in PLA2G1B expression levels between these individuals. The ability of pancreas-specific overexpression of PLA2G1B to promote obesity and glucose intolerance suggests that target phospholipase activity in the digestive tract with non-absorbable inhibitors should be considered as a therapeutic option for metabolic disease therapy.

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