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White adipose tissue, a novel antirheumatic target: Clues from its secretory capability and adipectomy-based therapy.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: White adipose tissue (WAT) is involved in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study explored its potential as an antirheumatic target.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: WAT status of healthy and adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rats were compared. The contribution of WAT to RA pathology was evaluated by pre-adipocyte transplant experiments and by dissecting perirenal fat pads of AIA rats. The impact of RA on WAT was investigated by culturing pre-adipocytes. Proteins differentially expressed in WAT of healthy and AIA rats were identified by the UPLC/MS2 method. These together with PPARγ siRNA and agonist were used to treat pre-adipocytes in vitro. The medium was used for THP-1 monocyte culture.

KEY RESULTS: Compared with healthy controls, AIA WAT was smaller but secreted more leptin, eNAMPT, MCP-1, TNF-α, and IL-6. AIA rat pre-adipocytes increased the levels of these adipokines in healthy recipients. RA patients' serum induced a similar secretion change and impaired differentiation of pre-adipocytes. Adipectomy eased AIA-related immune abnormalities and arthritic manifestations. Hepatokines PON1, IGFBP4, and GPIHBP1 were among the differential proteins in high levels in RA blood, and induced inflammatory secretions by pre-adipocytes. GPIHBP1 inhibited PPARγ expression and caused differentiation impairment and inflammatory secretion by pre-adipocytes, a similar outcome to PPARγ-silencing. This endowed the cells with an ability to activate monocytes, which can be abrogated by rosiglitazone.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Certain hepatokines potentiate inflammatory secretions by pre-adipocytes and expedite RA progression by inhibiting PPARγ. Targeting this signalling or abnormal WAT secretion by various approaches may reduce RA severity.

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