Cover Story Current Issue

White adipose tissue (WAT) is a complex organ that plays a central role in systemic energy balance through its interrelated metabolic, endocrine, and immune functions. Adipocytes, the parenchymal cells of adipose tissue, have diverse functions that include storage and mobilization of lipids. They also release endocrine signals that report energy status to the brain, regulating metabolic functions in peripheral organs. Importantly, the metabolic character of white adipocytes is flexible, with cells capable of assuming distinct anabolic and catabolic/thermogenic phenotypes, often within the same adipose tissue depot

Elizabeth A. Rondini, Vanesa D. Ramseyer, Rayanne B. Burl, Roger Pique-Regi, James G. Granneman

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Current Issue

Nuclear Receptor CoRepressors, NCOR1 and SMRT, are required for maintaining systemic metabolic homeostasis

Megan J. Ritter, Izuki Amano, Norihiro Imai, Lorraine Soares De Oliveira, ... Anthony N. Hollenberg

Objective

The nuclear receptor corepressor 1 (NCOR1) and the silencing mediator of retinoic acid and thyroid hormone (SMRT, also known as NCOR2) play critical and specific roles in nuclear receptor action. NCOR1, both in vitro and in vivo specifically regulates thyroid hormone (TH) action in the context of individual organs such as the liver, and systemically in the context of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. In contrast, selective deletion of SMRT in the liver or globally has shown that it plays very little role in TH signaling. However, both NCOR1 and SMRT have some overlapping roles in hepatic metabolism and lipogenesis. Here, we determine the roles of NCOR1 and SMRT in global physiologic function and find if SMRT could play a compensatory role in the regulation of TH action, globally.

Methods

We used a postnatal deletion strategy to disrupt both NCOR1 and SMRT together in all tissues at 8–9 weeks of age in male and female mice. This was performed using a tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase (UBC-Cre-ERT2) to KO (knockout) NCOR1, SMRT, or NCOR1 and SMRT together. We used the same strategy to KO HDAC3 in male and female mice of the same age. Metabolic parameters, gene expression, and thyroid function tests were analyzed.

Results

Surprisingly, adult mice that acquired NCOR1 and SMRT deletion rapidly became hypoglycemic and hypothermic and perished within ten days of deletion of both corepressors. Postnatal deletion of either NCOR1 or SMRT had no impact on mortality. NCOR1/SMRT KO mice rapidly developed hepatosteatosis and mild elevations in liver function tests. Additionally, alterations in lipogenesis, beta oxidation, along with hepatic triglyceride and glycogen levels suggested defects in hepatic metabolism. The intestinal function was intact in the NCOR1/SMRT knockout (KO) mice. The KO of HDAC3 resulted in a distinct phenotype from the NCOR1/SMRT KO mice, whereas none of the HDAC3 KO mice succumbed after tamoxifen injection.

Conclusions

The KO of NCOR1 and SMRT rapidly leads to significant metabolic abnormalities that do not survive – including hypoglycemia, hypothermia, and weight loss. Hepatosteatosis rapidly developed along with alterations in hepatic metabolism suggesting a contribution to the dramatic phenotype from liver injury. Glucose production and absorption were intact in NCOR1/SMRT KO mice, demonstrating a multifactorial process leading to their demise. HDAC3 KO mice have a distinct phenotype from the NCOR1/SMRT KO mice—which implies that NCOR1/SMRT together regulate a critical pathway that is required for survival in adulthood and is separate from HDAC3.

Nuclear Receptor CoRepressors, NCOR1 and SMRT, are required for maintaining systemic metabolic homeostasis

Megan J. Ritter, Izuki Amano, Norihiro Imai, Lorraine Soares De Oliveira, ... Anthony N. Hollenberg

Objective

The nuclear receptor corepressor 1 (NCOR1) and the silencing mediator of retinoic acid and thyroid hormone (SMRT, also known as NCOR2) play critical and specific roles in nuclear receptor action. NCOR1, both in vitro and in vivo specifically regulates thyroid hormone (TH) action in the context of individual organs such as the liver, and systemically in the context of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. In contrast, selective deletion of SMRT in the liver or globally has shown that it plays very little role in TH signaling. However, both NCOR1 and SMRT have some overlapping roles in hepatic metabolism and lipogenesis. Here, we determine the roles of NCOR1 and SMRT in global physiologic function and find if SMRT could play a compensatory role in the regulation of TH action, globally.

Methods

We used a postnatal deletion strategy to disrupt both NCOR1 and SMRT together in all tissues at 8–9 weeks of age in male and female mice. This was performed using a tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase (UBC-Cre-ERT2) to KO (knockout) NCOR1, SMRT, or NCOR1 and SMRT together. We used the same strategy to KO HDAC3 in male and female mice of the same age. Metabolic parameters, gene expression, and thyroid function tests were analyzed.

Results

Surprisingly, adult mice that acquired NCOR1 and SMRT deletion rapidly became hypoglycemic and hypothermic and perished within ten days of deletion of both corepressors. Postnatal deletion of either NCOR1 or SMRT had no impact on mortality. NCOR1/SMRT KO mice rapidly developed hepatosteatosis and mild elevations in liver function tests. Additionally, alterations in lipogenesis, beta oxidation, along with hepatic triglyceride and glycogen levels suggested defects in hepatic metabolism. The intestinal function was intact in the NCOR1/SMRT knockout (KO) mice. The KO of HDAC3 resulted in a distinct phenotype from the NCOR1/SMRT KO mice, whereas none of the HDAC3 KO mice succumbed after tamoxifen injection.

Conclusions

The KO of NCOR1 and SMRT rapidly leads to significant metabolic abnormalities that do not survive – including hypoglycemia, hypothermia, and weight loss. Hepatosteatosis rapidly developed along with alterations in hepatic metabolism suggesting a contribution to the dramatic phenotype from liver injury. Glucose production and absorption were intact in NCOR1/SMRT KO mice, demonstrating a multifactorial process leading to their demise. HDAC3 KO mice have a distinct phenotype from the NCOR1/SMRT KO mice—which implies that NCOR1/SMRT together regulate a critical pathway that is required for survival in adulthood and is separate from HDAC3.

2020 impact factor: 7.4

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