NISCH–STAB1 is a newly identified locus correlated to human waist–hip ratio (WHR), which is a risk indicator of developing obesity-associated diabetes. Our previous studies have shown that Nisch mutant male mice increased glucose tolerance in chow-fed conditions. Thus we hypothesized that Nisch mutant mice will have changes in insulin resistance, adipocytes, hepatic steatosis when mice are fed with high-fat diet (HFD).
Insulin resistance was assessed in Nisch mutant mice and WT mice fed with high-fat diet (60% by kCal) or chow diet. Whole-body energy metabolism was examined using an indirect calorimeter. Adipose depots including inguinal white adipose tissue (WAT), perigonadal WAT, retroperitoneal WAT, and mesenteric WAT were extracted. Area and eqdiameter of each adipocyte were determined, and insulin signaling was examined as well. Paired samples of subcutaneous and omental visceral adipose tissue were obtained from 400 individuals (267 women, 133 men), and examined the expression of Nischarin.
We found that insulin signaling was impaired in major insulin-sensitive tissues of Nisch mutant female mice. When mice were fed with HFD for 15 weeks, the Nisch mutant female mice not only developed severe insulin resistance and decreased glucose tolerance compared with wild-type control mice, but also accumulated more white fat, had larger adipocytes and developed severe hepatic steatosis than wild-type control mice. To link our animal studies to human diseases, we further analyzed Nischarin expression in the paired human samples of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue from Caucasians. In humans, we found that Nischarin expression is attenuated in adipose tissue with obesity. More importantly, we found that Nischarin mRNA inversely correlated with parameters of obesity, fat distribution, lipid and glucose metabolism.
Taken together, our data revealed sexual dimorphism of Nischarin in body fat distribution, insulin resistance, and glucose tolerance in mice.
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This work was supported by funds from LSUSHC School of Medicine and Fred G, Brazda Foundation. Also patient related work was supported by grants of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Obesity Mechanisms (SFB 1052, B01 to MB). We would like to thank Steven Eastlack for critical reading of the paper.