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1.  Identification of Sucrose Non-Fermenting–Related Kinase (SNRK) as a Suppressor of Adipocyte Inflammation 
Diabetes  2013;62(7):2396-2409.
In this study, the role of sucrose non-fermenting–related kinase (SNRK) in white adipocyte biology was investigated. SNRK is abundantly expressed in adipose tissue, and the expression level is decreased in obese mice. SNRK expression is repressed by inflammatory signals but increased by insulin sensitizer in cultured adipocytes. In vivo, adipose tissue SNRK expression can be decreased by lipid injection but enhanced by macrophage ablation. Knocking down SNRK in cultured adipocytes activates both JNK and IKKβ pathways as well as promotes lipolysis. Insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation and glucose uptake are impaired in SNRK knockdown adipocytes. Phosphoproteomic analysis with SNRK knockdown adipocytes revealed significantly decreased phosphorylation of 49 proteins by 25% or more, which are involved in various aspects of adipocyte function with a clear indication of attenuated mTORC1 signaling. Phosphorylation of 43 proteins is significantly increased by onefold or higher, among which several proteins are known to be involved in inflammatory pathways. The inflammatory responses in SNRK knockdown adipocytes can be partially attributable to defective mTORC1 signaling, since rapamycin treatment activates IKKβ and induces lipolysis in adipocytes. In summary, SNRK may act as a suppressor of adipocyte inflammation and its presence is necessary for maintaining normal adipocyte function.
doi:10.2337/db12-1081
PMCID: PMC3712026  PMID: 23520131
2.  BVT.2733, a Selective 11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 Inhibitor, Attenuates Obesity and Inflammation in Diet-Induced Obese Mice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40056.
Background
Inhibition of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) is being pursued as a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Therefore, there is an urgent need to determine the effect of 11β-HSD1 inhibitor, which suppresses glucocorticoid action, on adipose tissue inflammation. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of BVT.2733, a selective 11β-HSD1 inhibitor, on expression of pro-inflammatory mediators and macrophage infiltration in adipose tissue in C57BL/6J mice.
Methodology/Principal Findings
C57BL/6J mice were fed with a normal chow diet (NC) or high fat diet (HFD). HFD treated mice were then administrated with BVT.2733 (HFD+BVT) or vehicle (HFD) for four weeks. Mice receiving BVT.2733 treatment exhibited decreased body weight and enhanced glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity compared to control mice. BVT.2733 also down-regulated the expression of inflammation-related genes including monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and the number of infiltrated macrophages within the adipose tissue in vivo. Pharmacological inhibition of 11β-HSD1 and RNA interference against 11β-HSD1 reduced the mRNA levels of MCP-1 and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in cultured J774A.1 macrophages and 3T3-L1 preadipocyte in vitro.
Conclusions/Significance
These results suggest that BVT.2733 treatment could not only decrease body weight and improve metabolic homeostasis, but also suppress the inflammation of adipose tissue in diet-induced obese mice. 11β-HSD1 may be a very promising therapeutic target for obesity and associated disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040056
PMCID: PMC3388048  PMID: 22768329
3.  The Abnormal Phenotypes of Cartilage and Bone in Calcium-Sensing Receptor Deficient Mice Are Dependent on the Actions of Calcium, Phosphorus, and PTH 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(9):e1002294.
Patients with neonatal severe hyperparathyroidism (NSHPT) are homozygous for the calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) mutation and have very high circulating PTH, abundant parathyroid hyperplasia, and severe life-threatening hypercalcemia. Mice with homozygous deletion of CaR mimic the syndrome of NSHPT. To determine effects of CaR deficiency on skeletal development and interactions between CaR and 1,25(OH)2D3 or PTH on calcium and skeletal homeostasis, we compared the skeletal phenotypes of homozygous CaR–deficient (CaR−/−) mice to those of double homozygous CaR– and 1α(OH)ase–deficient [CaR−/−1α(OH)ase−/−] mice or those of double homozygous CaR– and PTH–deficient [CaR−/−PTH−/−] mice at 2 weeks of age. Compared to wild-type littermates, CaR−/− mice had hypercalcemia, hypophosphatemia, hyperparathyroidism, and severe skeletal growth retardation. Chondrocyte proliferation and PTHrP expression in growth plates were reduced significantly, whereas trabecular volume, osteoblast number, osteocalcin-positive areas, expression of the ALP, type I collagen, osteocalcin genes, and serum ALP levels were increased significantly. Deletion of 1α(OH)ase in CaR−/− mice resulted in a longer lifespan, normocalcemia, lower serum phosphorus, greater elevation in PTH, slight improvement in skeletal growth with increased chondrocyte proliferation and PTHrP expression, and further increases in indices of osteoblastic bone formation. Deletion of PTH in CaR−/− mice resulted in rescue of early lethality, normocalcemia, increased serum phosphorus, undetectable serum PTH, normalization in skeletal growth with normal chondrocyte proliferation and enhanced PTHrP expression, and dramatic decreases in indices of osteoblastic bone formation. Our results indicate that reductions in hypercalcemia play a critical role in preventing the early lethality of CaR−/− mice and that defects in endochondral bone formation in CaR−/− mice result from effects of the marked elevation in serum calcium concentration and the decreases in serum phosphorus concentration and skeletal PTHrP levels, whereas the increased osteoblastic bone formation results from direct effects of PTH.
Author Summary
Mice with homozygous deletion of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaR) mimic the syndrome of neonatal severe hyperparathyroidism (NSHPT) in humans with very high circulating parathyroid hormone (PTH) and severe life-threatening hypercalcemia. To determine effects of CaR deficiency on skeletal development and interactions between CaR and 1,25(OH)2D3 or PTH on calcium and skeletal homeostasis, we compared the skeletal phenotypes of homozygous CaR–deficient mice to those of double homozygous CaR– and 1,25(OH)2D3–deficient mice or those of double homozygous CaR– and PTH–deficient mice. CaR–deficient mice had hypercalcemia, hypophosphatemia, hyperparathyroidism, severe skeletal growth retardation, and abnormalities; and most died within 2 weeks of age. Deletion of 1,25(OH)2D3 in CaR–deficient mice resulted in a longer lifespan, normocalcemia, lower serum phosphorus, greater elevation in PTH, and slight improvement in skeletal growth. Deletion of PTH in CaR–deficient mice resulted in rescue of early lethality, normocalcemia, increased serum phosphorus, and normalization in skeletal growth. Our results indicate that reductions in hypercalcemia reduce the early lethality of CaR–deficient mice and that deletion of PTH in patients with NSHPT may normalize skeletal growth and development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002294
PMCID: PMC3178615  PMID: 21966280
4.  Correlation of obesity and osteoporosis: Effect of free fatty acids on bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell differentiation 
Studies on the relationship between obesity and bone have recently become widespread. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of obesity on bone, utilizing a diet-induced obese mouse model, and to explore the role of free fatty acids (FFAs) in the osteogenesis/adipogenesis of mouse bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). An obese mouse model was established by a high-fat diet (HFD). Proximal femurs were collected at sacrifice, and bone mineral density (BMD) in the proximal femurs was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Bone histomorphometry was performed using undecalcified sections of the proximal femurs. The effect of obesity on the differentiation of mouse BMSCs was assessed by colony formation assays and gene expression analysis. In vitro, various osteogenic and adipogenic genes were determined by real-time quantitative PCR in mouse BMSCs after exposure to conditioned medium (CM) from FFA-treated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Western blotting was further performed to analyze the representative protein expression of PPARγ and Runx2. BMD and trabecular thickness were significantly greater in the HFD mice than in the control mice. CFU-osteo assay showed significantly increased osteogenesis of BMSCs. The mRNA level of Runx2 was significantly higher, while PPARγ and Pref-1 were significantly lower in BMSCs from the HFD mice compared to the control mice. In mouse BMSCs, the Sox9 and Runx2 genes were significantly up-regulated after exposure to CM from FFA-treated adipocytes, while PPARγ and CEBP-α were significantly down-regulated. Osteogenesis was significantly increased, while adipogenesis was significantly decreased. In conclusion, HFD-induced obesity may play a protective role in bone formation by concomitantly promoting osteogenic and suppressing adipogenic differentiation of BMSCs through factors secreted by FFA-treated adipocytes.
doi:10.3892/etm_00000095
PMCID: PMC3445940  PMID: 22993583
mesenchymal stem cells; free fatty acids; obesity; osteogenesis; adipogenesis

Results 1-4 (4)