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Biochimie. 2014 Jan;96:140-3. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2013.04.010. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Involvement of autotaxin/lysophosphatidic acid signaling in obesity and impaired glucose homeostasis.

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Institut des maladies métaboliques et cardiovasculaires (I2MC), Inserm U1048. Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.


Autotaxin (ATX) is a secreted lysophospholipase D involved in synthesis of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a phospholipid growth factor acting via specific receptors (LPA1R to LPA6R) and involved in several pathologies including obesity. ATX is secreted by adipocytes and contributes to circulating LPA. ATX expression is up-regulated in obese patients and mice in relationship with insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance. LPA1R is the most abundant subtype in adipose tissue. Its expression is higher in non-adipocyte cells than in adipocytes and is not altered in obesity. ATX increases and LPA1R decreases while preadipocytes differentiate into adipocytes (adipogenesis). LPA inhibits adipogenesis through down-regulation of the pro-adipogenic transcription factor PPARγ2. Adipocyte-specific knockout (FATX-KO) mice or mice treated with the LPAR antagonist Ki16425 gain more weight and accumulate more adipose tissue than wild type or control mice fed a high fat diet (HFD). These observations suggest that LPA (via LPA1R) exerts a tonic inhibitory effect on adipose tissue expansion that could, at least in part, result from the anti-adipogenic activity of LPA. A possible negative impact of LPA on insulin-sensitivity might also be considered. Despite being more sensitive to nutritional obesity, FATX-KO and Ki16425-treated mice fed a HFD show improved glucose tolerance when compared to wild type mice. Moreover, exogenously injected LPA acutely impairs glucose tolerance and insulin secretion. These observations show that LPA exerts a tonic deleterious impact on glucose homeostasis. In conclusion, ATX and LPA1R represent potential interesting pharmacological targets for the treatment of obesity-associated metabolic diseases.


Antagonist; Glucose homeostasis; Insulin; Lysophosphatidic acid; Obesity; Receptors

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