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Endocrinology. 2012 Jul;153(7):3123-32. doi: 10.1210/en.2012-1151. Epub 2012 May 16.

Resistance to obesity by repression of VEGF gene expression through induction of brown-like adipocyte differentiation.

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Transgenic Animal Research Center, School of Life Science, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Jilin 130024, China.


Adipose tissues are classified into white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). WAT is responsible for energy storage, and malfunction is associated with obesity. BAT, on the contrary, consumes fat to generate heat through uncoupling mitochondrial respiration and is important in body weight control. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A is the founding member of the VEGF family and has been found highly expressed in adipose tissue. A genetic mouse model of an inducible VEGF (VEGF-A) repression system was used to study VEGF-regulated energy metabolism in WAT. VEGF-repressed mice demonstrated lower food efficiency, lower body weight, and resistance to high-fat diet-induced obesity. Repression of VEGF expression caused morphological and molecular changes in adipose tissues. VEGF repression induced brown-like adipocyte development in WAT, up-regulation of BAT-specific genes including PRDM16, GATA-1, BMP-7, CIDEA, and UCP-1 and down-regulation of leptin, a WAT-specific gene. VEGF repression up-regulated expression of VEGF-B and its downstream fatty acid transport proteins. Relative levels of VEGF/VEGF-B may be important switches in energy metabolism and of pharmaceutical significances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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