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Diabetes. 2012 Nov;61(11):2796-806. doi: 10.2337/db11-1297. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Depressed levels of prostaglandin F2α in mice lacking Akr1b7 increase basal adiposity and predispose to diet-induced obesity.

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Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Unité Mixte de Recherche 6293/Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U1103–Génétique, Reproduction et Développement, Clermont Université, Aubière, France.


Negative regulators of white adipose tissue (WAT) expansion are poorly documented in vivo. Prostaglandin F(2α) (PGF(2α)) is a potent antiadipogenic factor in cultured preadipocytes, but evidence for its involvement in physiological context is lacking. We previously reported that Akr1b7, an aldo-keto reductase enriched in adipose stromal vascular fraction but absent from mature adipocytes, has antiadipogenic properties possibly supported by PGF(2α) synthase activity. To test whether lack of Akr1b7 could influence WAT homeostasis in vivo, we generated Akr1b7(-/-) mice in 129/Sv background. Akr1b7(-/-) mice displayed excessive basal adiposity resulting from adipocyte hyperplasia/hypertrophy and exhibited greater sensitivity to diet-induced obesity. Following adipose enlargement and irrespective of the diet, they developed liver steatosis and progressive insulin resistance. Akr1b7 loss was associated with decreased PGF(2α) WAT contents. Cloprostenol (PGF(2α) agonist) administration to Akr1b7(-/-) mice normalized WAT expansion by affecting both de novo adipocyte differentiation and size. Treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes and Akr1b7(-/-) mice with cloprostenol suggested that decreased adipocyte size resulted from inhibition of lipogenic gene expression. Hence, Akr1b7 is a major regulator of WAT development through at least two PGF(2α)-dependent mechanisms: inhibition of adipogenesis and lipogenesis. These findings provide molecular rationale to explore the status of aldo-keto reductases in dysregulations of adipose tissue homeostasis.

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