Brown adipose tissue is a thermogenic organ that dissipates stored energy as heat to maintain body temperature. This process may also provide protection from development of diet-induced obesity. We report that the bioactive lipid mediator lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) markedly decreases differentiation of cultured primary brown adipocyte precursors, whereas potent selective inhibitors of the LPA-generating enzyme autotaxin (ATX) promote differentiation. Transgenic mice overexpressing ATX exhibit reduced expression of brown adipose tissue-related genes in peripheral white adipose tissue and accumulate significantly more fat than wild-type controls when fed a high-fat diet. Our results indicate that ATX and its product LPA are physiologically relevant negative regulators of brown fat adipogenesis and are consistent with a model in which a decrease in mature peripheral brown adipose tissue results in increased susceptibility to dietinduced obesity in mice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology