Cover Story Current Issue

The prevalence of obesity continues to increase worldwide due to complex behavioral, genetic, and environmental factors. Obesity is a major contributor to metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Tissue crosstalk through autocrine, paracrine, and endocrine signals are critical regulators of energy and nutrient homeostasis.

Sharon O. Jensen-Cody, Matthew J. Potthoff

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Current Issue

Testosterone metabolites differentially regulate obesogenesis and fat distribution

Zachary L. Sebo, Matthew S. Rodeheffer

 

Objective

Low testosterone in men (hypogonadism) is associated with obesity and type II diabetes. Testosterone replacement therapy has been shown to reverse these effects. However, the mechanisms by which testosterone regulates total fat mass, fat distribution, and metabolic health are unclear. In this study, we clarify the impact of hypogonadism on these parameters, as well as parse the role of testosterone from its downstream metabolites, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and estradiol, in the regulation of depot-specific adipose tissue mass.

Methods

To achieve this objective, we utilized mouse models of male hypogonadism coupled with hormone replacement therapy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), glucose tolerance tests, flow cytometry, and immunohistochemical techniques.

Results

We observed that castrated mice develop increased fat mass, reduced muscle mass, and impaired glucose metabolism compared with gonadally intact males. Interestingly, obesity is further accelerated in castrated mice fed a high-fat diet, suggesting hypogonadism increases susceptibility to obesogenesis when dietary consumption of fat is elevated. By performing hormone replacement therapy in castrated mice, we show that testosterone impedes visceral and subcutaneous fat mass expansion. Testosterone-derived estradiol selectively blocks visceral fat growth, and DHT selectively blocks the growth of subcutaneous fat. These effects are mediated by depot-specific alterations in adipocyte size. We also show that high-fat diet-induced adipogenesis is elevated in castrated mice and that this can be rescued by androgen treatment. Obesogenic adipogenesis is also elevated in mice where androgen receptor activity is inhibited.

Conclusions

These data indicate that hypogonadism impairs glucose metabolism and increases obesogenic fat mass expansion through adipocyte hypertrophy and adipogenesis. In addition, our findings highlight distinct roles for testosterone, DHT, and estradiol in the regulation of total fat mass and fat distribution and reveal that androgen signaling blocks obesogenic adipogenesis in vivo.

Testosterone metabolites differentially regulate obesogenesis and fat distribution

Zachary L. Sebo, Matthew S. Rodeheffer

 

Objective

Low testosterone in men (hypogonadism) is associated with obesity and type II diabetes. Testosterone replacement therapy has been shown to reverse these effects. However, the mechanisms by which testosterone regulates total fat mass, fat distribution, and metabolic health are unclear. In this study, we clarify the impact of hypogonadism on these parameters, as well as parse the role of testosterone from its downstream metabolites, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and estradiol, in the regulation of depot-specific adipose tissue mass.

Methods

To achieve this objective, we utilized mouse models of male hypogonadism coupled with hormone replacement therapy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), glucose tolerance tests, flow cytometry, and immunohistochemical techniques.

Results

We observed that castrated mice develop increased fat mass, reduced muscle mass, and impaired glucose metabolism compared with gonadally intact males. Interestingly, obesity is further accelerated in castrated mice fed a high-fat diet, suggesting hypogonadism increases susceptibility to obesogenesis when dietary consumption of fat is elevated. By performing hormone replacement therapy in castrated mice, we show that testosterone impedes visceral and subcutaneous fat mass expansion. Testosterone-derived estradiol selectively blocks visceral fat growth, and DHT selectively blocks the growth of subcutaneous fat. These effects are mediated by depot-specific alterations in adipocyte size. We also show that high-fat diet-induced adipogenesis is elevated in castrated mice and that this can be rescued by androgen treatment. Obesogenic adipogenesis is also elevated in mice where androgen receptor activity is inhibited.

Conclusions

These data indicate that hypogonadism impairs glucose metabolism and increases obesogenic fat mass expansion through adipocyte hypertrophy and adipogenesis. In addition, our findings highlight distinct roles for testosterone, DHT, and estradiol in the regulation of total fat mass and fat distribution and reveal that androgen signaling blocks obesogenic adipogenesis in vivo.

The 60 Second Metabolist

In this section authors briefly report on their work recently published in Molecular Metabolism.

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