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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a set of pathologies associated with ectopic lipid accumulationin hepatocytes. NAFLD can progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), an inflammatory condition which is increasing in prevalence in parallel with other diseases connected to lipid metabolism, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. NASH is characterized by hepatic necrosis, increased inflammatory signaling, immune cell infiltration, and the potential to progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and ultimately liver failure.

David Montefusco, Maryam Jamil, Melissa A. Maczis, William Schroeder, ... L. Ashley Cowart

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Conditional gene targeting using UCP1-Cre mice directly targets the central nervous system beyond thermogenic adipose tissues

Kristin E. Claflin, Kyle H. Flippo, Andrew I. Sullivan, Meghan C. Naber, ... Matthew J. Potthoff

Objective

Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is a mitochondrial protein critical for adaptive thermogenesis in adipose tissues, and it is typically believed to be restricted to thermogenic adipose tissues. UCP1-Cre transgenic mice are utilized in numerous studies to provide “brown adipose-specific” conditional gene targeting. Here, we examined the distribution of Cre and UCP1 throughout the body in UCP1-Cre reporter mice.

Methods

UCP1-Cre mice crossed to Ai14-tdTomato and Ai9-tdTomato reporter mice were used to explore the tissue distribution of Cre recombinase and Ucp1 mRNA in various tissues. UCP1-Cre mice were independently infected with either a Cre-dependent PHP.eB-tdTomato virus or a Cre-dependent AAV-tdTomato virus to determine whether and where UCP1 is actively expressed in the adult central nervous systemIn situ analysis of the deposited single cell RNA sequencing data was used to evaluate Ucp1 expression in the hypothalamus.

Results

As expected, Ucp1 expression was detected in both brown and inguinal adipose tissues. Ucp1 expression was also detected in the kidney, adrenal glandsthymus, and hypothalamus. Consistent with detectable Ucp1 expression, tdTomato expression was also observed in brown adipose tissue, inguinal white adipose tissue, kidney, adrenal glands, and hypothalamus of both male and female UCP1-Cre; Ai14-tdTomato and UCP1-Cre; Ai9-tdTomato mice by fluorescent imaging and qPCR. Critically, expression of tdTomato, and thus UCP1, within the central nervous system was observed in regions of the brain critical for the regulation of energy homeostasis, including the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH).

Conclusions

TdTomato expression in UCP1-Cre; tdTomato mice is not restricted to thermogenic adipose tissues. TdTomato was also expressed in the kidneys, adrenal glands, and throughout the brain, including brain regions and cell types that are critical for multiple aspects of central regulation of energy homeostasis. Collectively, these data have important implications for the utility of UCP1-Cre mice as genetic tools to investigate gene function specifically in brown adipose tissue.

Conditional gene targeting using UCP1-Cre mice directly targets the central nervous system beyond thermogenic adipose tissues

Kristin E. Claflin, Kyle H. Flippo, Andrew I. Sullivan, Meghan C. Naber, ... Matthew J. Potthoff

Objective

Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is a mitochondrial protein critical for adaptive thermogenesis in adipose tissues, and it is typically believed to be restricted to thermogenic adipose tissues. UCP1-Cre transgenic mice are utilized in numerous studies to provide “brown adipose-specific” conditional gene targeting. Here, we examined the distribution of Cre and UCP1 throughout the body in UCP1-Cre reporter mice.

Methods

UCP1-Cre mice crossed to Ai14-tdTomato and Ai9-tdTomato reporter mice were used to explore the tissue distribution of Cre recombinase and Ucp1 mRNA in various tissues. UCP1-Cre mice were independently infected with either a Cre-dependent PHP.eB-tdTomato virus or a Cre-dependent AAV-tdTomato virus to determine whether and where UCP1 is actively expressed in the adult central nervous systemIn situ analysis of the deposited single cell RNA sequencing data was used to evaluate Ucp1 expression in the hypothalamus.

Results

As expected, Ucp1 expression was detected in both brown and inguinal adipose tissues. Ucp1 expression was also detected in the kidney, adrenal glandsthymus, and hypothalamus. Consistent with detectable Ucp1 expression, tdTomato expression was also observed in brown adipose tissue, inguinal white adipose tissue, kidney, adrenal glands, and hypothalamus of both male and female UCP1-Cre; Ai14-tdTomato and UCP1-Cre; Ai9-tdTomato mice by fluorescent imaging and qPCR. Critically, expression of tdTomato, and thus UCP1, within the central nervous system was observed in regions of the brain critical for the regulation of energy homeostasis, including the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH).

Conclusions

TdTomato expression in UCP1-Cre; tdTomato mice is not restricted to thermogenic adipose tissues. TdTomato was also expressed in the kidneys, adrenal glands, and throughout the brain, including brain regions and cell types that are critical for multiple aspects of central regulation of energy homeostasis. Collectively, these data have important implications for the utility of UCP1-Cre mice as genetic tools to investigate gene function specifically in brown adipose tissue.

2021 impact factor: 8.568

The 60 Second Metabolist

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

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