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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 5;8(8):e70663. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070663. Print 2013.

Increased 4-hydroxynonenal formation contributes to obesity-related lipolytic activation in adipocytes.

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Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America ; Department of Histology and Embryology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China.


Oxidative stress in adipose tissue plays an etiological role in a variety of obesity-related metabolic disorders. We previously reported that increased adipose tissue 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) contents contributed to obesity-related plasma adiponectin decline in mice. In the present study, we investigated the effects of intracellular 4-HNE accumulation on lipolytic response in adipocytes/adipose tissues and underlying mechanisms. In both fully-differentiated 3T3-L1 and primary adipocytes, a 5-hour 4-HNE exposure elevated lipolytic reaction in a dose-dependent manner at both basal and isoproterenol-stimulated conditions, evidenced by significantly increased glycerol and fatty acids releases. This conclusion was corroborated by the comparable observations when the minced human visceral adipose tissues were used. Mechanistic investigations revealed that 4-HNE-stimulated lipolytic activation is multifactorial. 4-HNE exposure quickly increased intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) level, which was concomitant with increased phosphorylations of protein kinase A (PKA) and its direct downstream target, hormone sensitive lipase (HSL). Pre-incubation with H89, a potent PKA inhibitor, prevented 4-HNE stimulated glycerol release, suggesting that enhanced lipolytic action in response to 4-HNE increase is mediated mainly by cAMP/PKA signal pathway in adipocytes. In addition to activating cAMP/PKA/HSL pathway, 4-HNE exposure also suppresses AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a suppressive pathway for lipolysis, measured by both Western blotting for phosphorylated form of AMPK and ELISA for enzyme activity. Furthermore, 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-beta-D-ribofuranoside (AICAR), a pharmacological AMPK activator, alleviated 4-HNE-induced lipolysis, suggesting that AMPK suppression also contributes to 4-HNE elicited lipolytic response. In conclusion, our findings indicate that increased intracellular 4-HNE accumulation in adipocytes/adipose tissues contributes to obesity-related lipolytic activation.

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