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PLoS Genet. 2017 Dec 12;13(12):e1007110. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007110. eCollection 2017 Dec.

Adipose tissue deficiency of hormone-sensitive lipase causes fatty liver in mice.

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College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.
Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, Université de Montréal and CHU Sainte-Justine, Montréal, QC, Canada.


Fatty liver is a major health problem worldwide. People with hereditary deficiency of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) are reported to develop fatty liver. In this study, systemic and tissue-specific HSL-deficient mice were used as models to explore the underlying mechanism of this association. We found that systemic HSL deficient mice developed fatty liver in an age-dependent fashion between 3 and 8 months of age. To further explore the mechanism of fatty liver in HSL deficiency, liver-specific HSL knockout mice were created. Surprisingly, liver HSL deficiency did not influence liver fat content, suggesting that fatty liver in HSL deficiency is not liver autonomous. Given the importance of adipose tissue in systemic triglyceride metabolism, we created adipose-specific HSL knockout mice and found that adipose HSL deficiency, to a similar extent as systemic HSL deficiency, causes age-dependent fatty liver in mice. Mechanistic study revealed that deficiency of HSL in adipose tissue caused inflammatory macrophage infiltrates, progressive lipodystrophy, abnormal adipokine secretion and systemic insulin resistance. These changes in adipose tissue were associated with a constellation of changes in liver: low levels of fatty acid oxidation, of very low density lipoprotein secretion and of triglyceride hydrolase activity, each favoring the development of hepatic steatosis. In conclusion, HSL-deficient mice revealed a complex interorgan interaction between adipose tissue and liver: the role of HSL in the liver is minimal but adipose tissue deficiency of HSL can cause age-dependent hepatic steatosis. Adipose tissue is a potential target for treating the hepatic steatosis of HSL deficiency.

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