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FASEB J. 2019 Jan 7:fj201802048RR. doi: 10.1096/fj.201802048RR. [Epub ahead of print]

Loss of glucagon signaling alters white adipose tissue browning.

Author information

1
Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
2
Department of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA.
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women's Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA; and.
4
Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA.

Abstract

Various endocrine factors contribute to cold-induced white adipose tissue (WAT) browning, but glucagon has largely been ignored. The purpose of the current investigation was to determine if glucagon was required for the effects of cold on WAT browning. Utilizing whole-body glucagon receptor knockout mice (Gcgr-/-) and their wild-type (WT) littermate controls, we examined the response of inguinal WAT (iWAT) and interscapular brown adipose tissue (BAT) to an acute (48 h) cold stress or challenge with the β3-adrenergic agonist CL316,243. The effects of glucagon alone on the induction of thermogenic genes in adipose tissue from C57BL6/J mice were also examined. Gcgr-/- mice displayed modest increases in indices of browning at room temperature while displaying a blunted induction of Ucp1, Cidea, and Ffg21 mRNA expression in iWAT following cold exposure. Similarly, cold induced increases in mitochondrial DNA copy number, and the protein content of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes, UCP1, and PGC1α were attenuated in iWAT from Gcgr-/- mice. In BAT, the induction of thermogenic markers following cold exposure was reduced, but the effect was less pronounced than in iWAT. Glucagon treatment increased the expression of thermogenic genes in both iWAT and BAT of C57BL6/J mice. In response to CL316,243, circulating fatty acids, glycerol, and the phosphorylation of hormone-sensitive lipase were attenuated in iWAT of Gcgr-/- mice. We provide evidence that glucagon is sufficient for the induction of thermogenic genes in iWAT, and the absence of intact glucagon signaling blunts the cold-induced browning of WAT, possibly due, in part, to impaired adrenergic signaling.-Townsend, L. K., Medak, K. D., Knuth, C. M., Peppler, W. T., Charron, M. J., Wright, D. C. Loss of glucagon signaling alters white adipose tissue browning.

KEYWORDS:

WAT; brown adipose tissue; cold

PMID:
30615494
DOI:
10.1096/fj.201802048RR

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