Original Article | Published:

Animal Models

Resveratrol induces brown-like adipocyte formation in white fat through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) α1

International Journal of Obesity volume 39, pages 967976 (2015) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

Objective:

Development of brown-like/beige adipocytes in white adipose tissue (WAT) helps to reduce obesity. Thus we investigated the effects of resveratrol, a dietary polyphenol capable of preventing obesity and related complications in humans and animal models, on brown-like adipocyte formation in inguinal WAT (iWAT).

Methods:

CD1 female mice (5-month old) were fed a high-fat diet with/without 0.1% resveratrol. In addition, primary stromal vascular cells separated from iWAT were subjected to resveratrol treatment. Markers of brown-like (beige) adipogenesis were measured and the involvement of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) α1 was assessed using conditional knockout.

Results:

Resveratrol significantly increased mRNA and/or protein expression of brown adipocyte markers, including uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), PR domain-containing 16, cell death-inducing DFFA-like effector A, elongation of very long-chain fatty acids protein 3, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α, cytochrome c and pyruvate dehydrogenase, in differentiated iWAT stromal vascular cells (SVCs), suggesting that resveratrol induced brown-like adipocyte formation in vitro. Concomitantly, resveratrol markedly enhanced AMPKα1 phosphorylation and differentiated SVC oxygen consumption. Such changes were absent in cells lacking AMPKα1, showing that AMPKα1 is a critical mediator of resveratrol action. Resveratrol also induced beige adipogenesis in vivo along with the appearance of multiocular adipocytes, increased UCP1 expression and enhanced fatty acid oxidation.

Conclusions:

Resveratrol induces brown-like adipocyte formation in iWAT via AMPKα1 activation and suggest that its beneficial antiobesity effects may be partly due to the browning of WAT and, as a consequence, increased oxygen consumption.

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Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Joseph Maricelli for his help in the measurement of basal metabolic rate. This work was supported by grants from National Institutes of Health (R01HD067449), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31372397), the Muscular Dystrophy Association (216602) and the National Science Foundation (1147275). This activity was also funded, in part, with an Emerging Research Issues Internal Competitive Grant from the Agricultural Research Center at Washington State University, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

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Affiliations

  1. College of Animal Science, ALLTECH-SCAU Animal Nutrition Control Research Alliance, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China

    • S Wang
    •  & Q Jiang
  2. Department of Animal Sciences, Washington Center for Muscle Biology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA

    • S Wang
    • , X Liang
    • , Q Yang
    • , X Fu
    • , C J Rogers
    • , B D Rodgers
    • , M V Dodson
    •  & M Du
  3. School of Food Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA

    • M Zhu

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to M Du.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2015.23

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