Novel genes regulated by the insulin sensitizer rosiglitazone during adipocyte differentiation

Tatjana Albrektsen, Klaus Stensgaard Frederiksen, William E Holmes, Esper Boel, Karen Taylor, Jan Fleckner
Diabetes 2002, 51 (4): 1042-51
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are a new class of compounds that improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients as well as in rodent models of this disease. These compounds act as ligands for a member of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma), which is highly expressed in adipose tissue and, moreover, has been shown to play an important role in adipocyte differentiation. The strong correlation between the antidiabetic activity of TZDs and their ability to activate PPAR-gamma suggests that PPAR-gamma, through downstream-regulated genes, mediates the effects of TZDs. In this report, we present the isolation and characterization of 81 genes, encoding proteins of known function, differentially expressed during TZD-stimulated differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells. By the use of different reverse- Northern blot techniques, the differential expression of 50 of these genes could be verified, and 21 genes were specifically regulated by a potent TZD during the course of adipocyte differentiation, whereas no effect of a PPAR-gamma antagonist could be observed in mature adipocytes. The differential expression of a large fraction of the isolated genes was also shown to occur in white adipose tissue of ob/ob mice treated with rosiglitazone; combined, our results suggest that an important effect of rosiglitazone in adipose tissue is based on activation of PPAR-gamma in preexisting preadipocytes found among the mature adipocytes, resulting in subsequent adipocyte differentiation.

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