Pigment epithelium-derived factor inhibits adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and protects against high-fat diet-induced obesity and metabolic disorders in mice.


Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]


Obesity is a major cause of metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes, and it presents with metabolic disorders, such as hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance. Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), a protein isolated from retinal pigment epithelial cells, has multiple functions, including neuronal protection, antineoplastic effects, and anti-inflammatory activity. The aim of this study is to investigate the antiobesity effects of PEDF. The antiobesity effects of PEDF on fat accumulation, inflammation, energy expenditure, insulin resistance, and obesity-related physiological parameters and protein levels were assessed in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice in vivo and in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, palmitate (PA)-treated HepG2 cells, and C2C12 myotubes in vitro. In an in vivo assay, PEDF effectively decreased body weight gain, white adipose tissue mass, and inflammation and improved insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia in HFD-induced mice. In liver tissue, PEDF decreased lipid accumulation and fibrosis. In an in vitro assay, PEDF diminished the differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. We also determined that PEDF promoted lipolysis and prolonged cell cycle progression, through the mTOR-S6K pathway and downstream transcription factors, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (CEBP-α), and CEBP-β. In addition, PEDF decreased reactive oxygen species production in PA-induced HepG2 cells and improved glucose uptake ability in PA-induced HepG2 cells and C2C12 myotubes. In the present study, PEDF protected against HFD-induced obesity and metabolic disorders in mice, inhibited adipogenesis, and improved insulin resistance. These results provide a new potential treatment for obesity in the future.

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