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Regulators of fat cell metabolism

Sep. 7, 2021, 8:00 AM

by Leigh MacMillan

The cardiac natriuretic peptides (NPs) maintain blood pressure and fluid volume and stimulate fat cell metabolism. The expression level of NPRC — a “clearance” receptor that binds and degrades NPs — in adipose tissues is critical for NP action, yet little is known about how the NPRC gene is regulated. 

Sheila Collins, PhD, and colleagues used cultured fat cells and diet-induced obesity mouse models to study how NPRC gene expression is regulated in adipocytes and adipose tissues. They identified PPAR-gamma as a transcriptional regulator of NPRC expression and found that the diabetes medication rosiglitazone, a PPAR-gamma agonist, increases NPRC expression. Induction of NPRC expression in adipose tissue by a high-fat diet was associated with increased PPAR-gamma activity. 

The findings, reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, define PPAR-gamma as a regulator of adipocyte NPRC expression and establish a new role for PPAR-gamma in modulating adipocyte NP signaling and metabolism during obesity.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants DK103056, DK126890, DK115924) and the American Diabetes Association.

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