Transgenic Adipose-specific Expression of the Nuclear Receptor RORα Drives a Striking Shift in Fat Distribution and Impairs Glycemic Control

Zewen Kelvin Tuong, Rebecca Fitzsimmons, Shu Ching Mary Wang, Tae Gyu Oh, Patrick Lau, Frederik Steyn, Gethin Thomas, George E.O. Muscat

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    2 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    RORα is a member of the nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily and analysis of the (global) RORα-deficient mouse model revealed this NR has a role in glycemic control and fat deposition. Therefore, we generated an adipose-specific RORα ‘gain of function’ mouse model under the control of the fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) promoter to elucidate the function of RORα in adipose tissue. The Tg-FABP4-RORα4 mice demonstrated a shift in fat distribution to non-adipose tissues when challenged with a high fat diet (HFD). Specifically, we observed a subcutaneous lipodystrophy, accompanied by hepatomegaly (fatty liver/mild portal fibrosis) and splenomegaly; in a background of decreased weight gain and total body fat after HFD. Moreover, we observed significantly higher fasting blood glucose and impaired clearance of glucose in Tg-FABP4-RORα4 mice. Genome wide expression and qPCR profiling analysis identified: (i) subcutaneous adipose specific decreases in the expression of genes involved in fatty acid biosynthesis, lipid droplet expansion and glycemic control, and (ii) the fibrosis pathway as the most significant pathway [including dysregulation of the collagen/extracellular matrix (ECM) pathways] in subcutaneous adipose and liver. The pathology presented in the Tg-FABP4-RORα4 mice is reminiscent of human metabolic disease (associated with aberrant ECM expression) highlighting the therapeutic potential of this NR.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)101-117
    Number of pages17
    JournalEBioMedicine
    Volume11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2016

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