Background and objectives
Interleukin-27 (IL-27) is a multifaceted heterodimer cytokine that exerts both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects under different physiological conditions. IL-27 signaling plays a role in promoting energy expenditure through enhanced thermogenesis. The objective of the study is to determine the functional role of IL-27 in regulating weight gain, and glucose and lipid homeostasis in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD).
C57BL/6 mice were hydrodynamically transferred with pLIVE-IL-27 plasmids to achieve elevated level of IL-27 in blood and then kept on a HFD for 8 weeks. The impacts of Il-27 gene transfer on HFD-induced weight gain, adiposity, hepatic lipid accumulation, insulin resistance, glucose homeostasis and the mRNA levels of genes responsible for lipogenesis, glucose homeostasis and proinflammation were assessed by methods of biochemistry, histology, and molecular biology.
Hydrodynamic gene transfer of Il-27 gene resulted in a peak level of serum IL-27 in mice at 14.5 ng/ml 24 h after gene transfer followed by a sustained level at 2 ng/ml. The elevated level of IL-27 blocked HFD-induced fat accumulation and weight gain without reducing food intake. It also prevented metabolic abnormities of liver steatosis and insulin resistance. IL-27 overexpression promoted expression of major thermogenic genes in brown adipose tissues; and attenuated chronic inflammation and macrophage infiltration into white adipose tissues.
The results demonstrate that regulation of IL-27 level could be an effective strategy for management of obesity and obesity-related metabolic diseases.
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The study was supported in part by the Endowment of Panoz Professor of Pharmacy. We thank Dr. Yongjie Ma for technical assistance.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Yang, Y., Liu, H. & Liu, D. Preventing high-fat diet-induced obesity and related metabolic disorders by hydrodynamic transfer of Il-27 gene. Int J Obes 47, 413–421 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41366-023-01293-6