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

Adipocyte CAMK2 deficiency improves obesity-associated glucose intolerance

Wen Dai, Mayank Choubey, Sonal Patel, Harold A. Singer, Lale Ozcan

Objective

Obesity-related adipose tissue dysfunction has been linked to the development of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Impaired calcium homeostasis is associated with altered adipose tissue metabolism; however, the molecular mechanisms that link disrupted calcium signaling to metabolic regulation are largely unknown. Here, we investigated the contribution of a calcium-sensing enzyme, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CAMK2), to adipocyte function, obesity-associated insulin resistance, and glucose intolerance.

Methods

To determine the impact of adipocyte CAMK2 deficiency on metabolic regulation, we generated a conditional knockout mouse model and acutely deleted CAMK2 in mature adipocytes. We further used in vitro differentiated adipocytes to dissect the mechanisms by which CAMK2 regulates adipocyte function.

Results

CAMK2 activity was increased in obese adipose tissue, and depletion of adipocyte CAMK2 in adult mice improved glucose intolerance and insulin resistance without an effect on body weight. Mechanistically, we found that activation of CAMK2 disrupted adipocyte insulin signaling and lowered the amount of insulin receptor. Further, our results revealed that CAMK2 contributed to adipocyte lipolysistumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα)–induced inflammation, and insulin resistance.

Conclusions

These results identify a new link between adipocyte CAMK2 activity, metabolic regulation, and whole-body glucose homeostasis.

Adipocyte CAMK2 deficiency improves obesity-associated glucose intolerance

Wen Dai, Mayank Choubey, Sonal Patel, Harold A. Singer, Lale Ozcan

Objective

Obesity-related adipose tissue dysfunction has been linked to the development of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Impaired calcium homeostasis is associated with altered adipose tissue metabolism; however, the molecular mechanisms that link disrupted calcium signaling to metabolic regulation are largely unknown. Here, we investigated the contribution of a calcium-sensing enzyme, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CAMK2), to adipocyte function, obesity-associated insulin resistance, and glucose intolerance.

Methods

To determine the impact of adipocyte CAMK2 deficiency on metabolic regulation, we generated a conditional knockout mouse model and acutely deleted CAMK2 in mature adipocytes. We further used in vitro differentiated adipocytes to dissect the mechanisms by which CAMK2 regulates adipocyte function.

Results

CAMK2 activity was increased in obese adipose tissue, and depletion of adipocyte CAMK2 in adult mice improved glucose intolerance and insulin resistance without an effect on body weight. Mechanistically, we found that activation of CAMK2 disrupted adipocyte insulin signaling and lowered the amount of insulin receptor. Further, our results revealed that CAMK2 contributed to adipocyte lipolysistumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα)–induced inflammation, and insulin resistance.

Conclusions

These results identify a new link between adipocyte CAMK2 activity, metabolic regulation, and whole-body glucose homeostasis.

2020 impact factor: 7.4

The 60 Second Metabolist

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

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