Liver X receptor agonists ameliorate TNFalpha-induced insulin resistance in murine brown adipocytes by downregulating protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B gene expression

S Fernández-Veledo, I Nieto-Vazquez, C M Rondinone, M Lorenzo
Diabetologia 2006, 49 (12): 3038-48

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: The nuclear receptors, including nuclear receptor subfamily 1, group H, member 3 (NR1HR, also known as liver X receptor [LXR]), are sensors of cholesterol metabolism and lipid biosynthesis that have recently been proposed as insulin sensitisers. TNFalpha has been described as a link between obesity and the development of insulin resistance, an important contributor to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, we decided to investigate the ability of NR1HR agonists to ameliorate TNFalpha-induced insulin resistance in brown adipocytes.

METHODS: Primary brown adipocytes from rat fetuses, and from wild-type neonate mice and neonate mice deficient in the gene encoding protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B (Ptpn1, also known as Ptp1b) were cultured in the absence or presence of TNFalpha and different nuclear receptor agonists. Among them, the unrelated NR1HR ligands T0901317, GW3965 and (22R)-hydroxycholesterol were tested. After insulin stimulation, glucose uptake and solute carrier family 2 (facilitated glucose transporter), member 4 (SLC2A4, formerly known as GLUT4) translocation were measured. Next the insulin signalling cascade was determined by submitting cells to lysis, immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting.

RESULTS: NR1HR agonists ameliorate TNFalpha-induced insulin resistance restoring completely insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and SLC2A4 translocation to plasma membrane. This effect is parallel to the recovery of the insulin cascade insulin receptor/IRS-2/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B, and could be due to the fact that T0901317 prevents the increase of PTPN1 production and phosphatase activity produced by TNFalpha. In this regard, Ptpn1-deficient brown adipocytes showed protection against insulin resistance by TNFalpha. Moreover, we observed that T0901317 produced in itself a significant increase over basal glucose uptake consistent with an increase of SLC2A4 protein content in plasma membrane, attributable to the activation of protein kinase zeta and/or the increase of Slc2a4 expression.

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Nuclear receptors NR1HR are interesting potential targets for drug treatment of insulin resistance.

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