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1.  Blockade of VEGF-C and VEGF-D modulates adipose tissue inflammation and improves metabolic parameters under high-fat diet 
Molecular Metabolism  2014;4(2):93-105.
Objective
Elevated serum levels of the lymphangiogenic factors VEGF-C and -D have been observed in obese individuals but their relevance for the metabolic syndrome has remained unknown.
Methods
K14–VEGFR-3–Ig (sR3) mice that constitutively express soluble-VEGFR-3–Ig in the skin, scavenging VEGF-C and -D, and wildtype (WT) mice were fed either chow or high-fat diet for 20 weeks. To assess the effect of VEGFR-3 blockage on adipose tissue growth and insulin sensitivity, we evaluated weight gain, adipocyte size and hepatic lipid accumulation. These results were complemented with insulin tolerance tests, FACS analysis of adipose tissue macrophages, in vitro 3T3-L1 differentiation assays and in vivo blocking antibody treatment experiments.
Results
We show here that sR3 mice are protected from obesity-induced insulin resistance and hepatic lipid accumulation. This protection is associated with enhanced subcutaneous adipose tissue hyperplasia and an increased number of alternatively-activated (M2) macrophages in adipose tissue. We also show that VEGF-C and -D are chemotactic for murine macrophages and that this effect is mediated by VEGFR-3, which is upregulated on M1 polarized macrophages. Systemic antibody blockage of VEGFR-3 in db/db mice reduces adipose tissue macrophage infiltration and hepatic lipid accumulation, and improves insulin sensitivity.
Conclusions
These results reveal an unanticipated role of the lymphangiogenic factors VEGF-C and -D in the mediation of metabolic syndrome-associated adipose tissue inflammation. Blockage of these lymphangiogenic factors might constitute a new therapeutic strategy for the prevention of obesity-associated insulin resistance.
doi:10.1016/j.molmet.2014.11.006
PMCID: PMC4314545
Vegfc; Obesity; Adipose tissue; Inflammation; Macrophages; sR3, soluble-VEGFR-3; HFD, high-fat diet; SWAT, subcutaneous white adipose tissue; EWAT, epididymal white adipose tissue; CM, conditioned medium
2.  VEGF-B-induced vascular growth leads to metabolic reprogramming and ischemia resistance in the heart 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2014;6(3):307-321.
Angiogenic growth factors have recently been linked to tissue metabolism. We have used genetic gain- and loss-of function models to elucidate the effects and mechanisms of action of vascular endothelial growth factor-B (VEGF-B) in the heart. A cardiomyocyte-specific VEGF-B transgene induced an expanded coronary arterial tree and reprogramming of cardiomyocyte metabolism. This was associated with protection against myocardial infarction and preservation of mitochondrial complex I function upon ischemia-reperfusion. VEGF-B increased VEGF signals via VEGF receptor-2 to activate Erk1/2, which resulted in vascular growth. Akt and mTORC1 pathways were upregulated and AMPK downregulated, readjusting cardiomyocyte metabolic pathways to favor glucose oxidation and macromolecular biosynthesis. However, contrasting with a previous theory, there was no difference in fatty acid uptake by the heart between the VEGF-B transgenic, gene-targeted or wildtype rats. Importantly, we also show that VEGF-B expression is reduced in human heart disease. Our data indicate that VEGF-B could be used to increase the coronary vasculature and to reprogram myocardial metabolism to improve cardiac function in ischemic heart disease.
Subject Categories Cardiovascular System; Metabolism
See also: C Kupatt and R Hinkel (March 2014)
doi:10.1002/emmm.201303147
PMCID: PMC3958306  PMID: 24448490
angiogenesis; endothelial cell; ischemia; metabolism; VEGF-B
3.  Angiopoietin-Like 4 Mediates PPAR Delta Effect on Lipoprotein Lipase-Dependent Fatty Acid Uptake but Not on Beta-Oxidation in Myotubes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46212.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) delta is an important regulator of fatty acid (FA) metabolism. Angiopoietin-like 4 (Angptl4), a multifunctional protein, is one of the major targets of PPAR delta in skeletal muscle cells. Here we investigated the regulation of Angptl4 and its role in mediating PPAR delta functions using human, rat and mouse myotubes. Expression of Angptl4 was upregulated during myotubes differentiation and by oleic acid, insulin and PPAR delta agonist GW501516. Treatment with GW501516 or Angptl4 overexpression inhibited both lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity and LPL-dependent uptake of FAs whereas uptake of BSA-bound FAs was not affected by either treatment. Activation of retinoic X receptor (RXR), PPAR delta functional partner, using bexarotene upregulated Angptl4 expression and inhibited LPL activity in a PPAR delta dependent fashion. Silencing of Angptl4 blocked the effect of GW501516 and bexarotene on LPL activity. Treatment with GW501516 but not Angptl4 overexpression significantly increased palmitate oxidation. Furthermore, Angptl4 overexpression did not affect the capacity of GW501516 to increase palmitate oxidation. Basal and insulin stimulated glucose uptake, glycogen synthesis and glucose oxidation were not significantly modulated by Angptl4 overexpression. Our findings suggest that FAs-PPARdelta/RXR-Angptl4 axis controls the LPL-dependent uptake of FAs in myotubes, whereas the effect of PPAR delta activation on beta-oxidation is independent of Angptl4.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046212
PMCID: PMC3464237  PMID: 23056264
4.  OSBP-Related Proteins (ORPs) in Human Adipose Depots and Cultured Adipocytes: Evidence for Impacts on the Adipocyte Phenotype 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45352.
Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) homologues, ORPs, are implicated in lipid homeostatic control, vesicle transport, and cell signaling. We analyzed here the quantity of ORP mRNAs in human subcutaneous (s.c.) and visceral adipose depots, as well as in the Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome (SGBS) adipocyte cell model. All of the ORP mRNAs were present in the s.c and visceral adipose tissues, and the two depots shared an almost identical ORP mRNA expression pattern. SGBS adipocytes displayed a similar pattern, suggesting that the adipose tissue ORP expression pattern mainly derives from adipocytes. During SGBS cell adipogenic differentiation, ORP2, ORP3, ORP4, ORP7, and ORP8 mRNAs were down-regulated, while ORP11 was induced. To assess the impacts of ORPs on adipocyte differentiation, ORP3 and ORP8, proteins down-regulated during adipogenesis, were overexpressed in differentiating SGBS adipocytes, while ORP11, a protein induced during adipogenesis, was silenced. ORP8 overexpression resulted in reduced expression of the aP2 mRNA, while down-regulation of adiponectin and aP2 was observed in ORP11 silenced cells. Furthermore, ORP8 overexpression or silencing of ORP11 markedly decreased cellular triglyceride storage. These data identify the patterns of ORP expression in human adipose depots and SGBS adipocytes, and provide the first evidence for a functional impact of ORPs on the adipocyte phenotype.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045352
PMCID: PMC3448648  PMID: 23028956
5.  R1: The relationship between plasma Angiopoietin-like protein 4 (Angptl4) levels, ANGPTL4 genotype and coronary heart disease risk 
Objective
To investigate the relationship between Angiopoietin-like protein 4 (Angptl4) levels, CHD biomarkers and ANGPTL4 variants.
Methods and Results
Plasma Angptl4 was quantified in 666 subjects of the Northwick Park Heart Study II using a validated ELISA. Seven ANGPTL4 SNPs were genotyped and CHD biomarkers assessed in the whole cohort (n=2775). Weighted mean (±SD) plasma Angptl4 levels were 10.0(±11.0) ng/ml. Plasma Angptl4 concentration correlated positively with age (r=0.15, P<0.001), body fat mass (r=0.19, P=0.003) but negatively with plasma HDL-cholesterol (r=−0.13, P=0.01). No correlation with triglycerides was observed. T266M was independently associated with plasma Angptl4 levels (P<0.001), but not associated with triglycerides or with CHD risk in the meta-analysis of five studies (4,061 cases/15,395 controls). E40K showed no independent association with plasma Angptl4 levels. In HEK293 and Huh7 cells compared to wild-type, E40K and T266M showed significantly altered synthesis and secretion, respectively.
Conclusions
These data suggest that circulating Angptl4 levels do not influence triglyceride levels or CHD risk since (1) Angptl4 levels were not correlated with triglycerides, (2) T266M, although associated with Angptl4 levels, showed no association with plasma triglycerides (3) Triglyceride-lowering E40K did not influence Angptl4 levels. These results provide new insights into the role of Angptl4 in triglyceride metabolism.
doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.212209
PMCID: PMC3319296  PMID: 20829508
Angplt4; E40K; T266M; cardiovascular disease; LPL
6.  Human apoA-I increases macrophage foam cell derived PLTP activity without affecting the PLTP mass 
Background
phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP) plays important roles in lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis and is expressed by macrophages and macrophage foam cells (MFCs). The aim of the present study was to determine whether the major protein from HDL, apoA-I, affects PLTP derived from MFCs.
Results
as cell model we used human THP-1 monocytes incubated with acetylated LDL, to generate MFC. The addition of apoA-I to the cell media increased apoE secretion from the cells, in a concentration dependent fashion, without affecting cellular apoE levels. In contrast, apoA-I had no effect on PLTP synthesis and secretion, but strongly induced the PLTP activity in the media. ApoA-I also increased phospholipid transfer activity of PLTP isolated from human plasma. This effect was dependent on apoA-I concentration but independent on apoA-I lipidation status. ApoE, ApoA-II and apoA-IV, but not immunoglobulins or bovine serum albumin, also increased PLTP activity. We also report that apoA-I protects PLTP from heat inactivation.
Conclusion
apoA-I enhances the phospholipid transfer activity of PLTP secreted from macrophage foam cells without affecting the PLTP mass.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-9-59
PMCID: PMC2890626  PMID: 20534134

Results 1-6 (6)