Apelin Enhances Brown Adipogenesis and Browning of White Adipocytes

Aung Than, Hui Ling He, Si Hui Chua, Dan Xu, Lei Sun, Melvin Khee-Shing Leow, Peng Chen
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2015 June 5, 290 (23): 14679-91
Brown adipose tissue expends energy in the form of heat via the mitochondrial uncoupling protein UCP1. Recent studies showed that brown adipose tissue is present in adult humans and may be exploited for its anti-obesity and anti-diabetes actions. Apelin is an adipocyte-derived hormone that plays important roles in energy metabolism. Here, we report that apelin-APJ signaling promotes brown adipocyte differentiation by increasing the expressions of brown adipogenic and thermogenic transcriptional factors via the PI3K/Akt and AMPK signaling pathways. It is also found that apelin relieves the TNFα inhibition on brown adipogenesis. In addition, apelin increases the basal activity of brown adipocytes, as evidenced by the increased PGC1α and UCP1 expressions, mitochondrial biogenesis, and oxygen consumption. Finally, we provide both in vitro and in vivo evidence that apelin is able to increase the brown-like characteristics in white adipocytes. This study, for the first time, reveals the brown adipogenic and browning effects of apelin and suggests a potential therapeutic route to combat obesity and related metabolic disorders.

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