The PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone promotes the induction of brite adipocytes, increasing β-adrenoceptor-mediated mitochondrial function and glucose uptake

Jon Merlin, Masaaki Sato, Cameron Nowell, Mohsen Pakzad, Richard Fahey, Jie Gao, Nodi Dehvari, Roger J. Summers, Tore Bengtsson, Bronwyn A. Evans, Dana S. Hutchinson

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Recruitment and activation of brite (or beige) adipocytes has been advocated as a potential avenue for manipulating whole-body energy expenditure. Despite numerous studies illustrating the differences in gene and protein markers between brown, brite and white adipocytes, there is very little information on the adrenergic regulation and function of these brite adipocytes. We have compared the functional (cyclic AMP accumulation, oxygen consumption rates, mitochondrial function, glucose uptake, extracellular acidification rates, calcium influx) profiles of mouse adipocytes cultured from three contrasting depots, namely interscapular brown adipose tissue, and inguinal or epididymal white adipose tissues, following chronic treatment with the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) agonist rosiglitazone. Prototypical brown adipocytes readily express β3-adrenoceptors, and β3-adrenoceptor stimulation increases cyclic AMP accumulation, oxygen consumption rates, mitochondrial function, glucose uptake, and extracellular acidification rates. Treatment of brown adipocytes with rosiglitazone increases uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) levels, and increases β3-adrenoceptor mitochondrial function but does not affect glucose uptake responses. In contrast, inguinal white adipocytes only express UCP1 and β3-adrenoceptors following rosiglitazone treatment, which results in an increase in all β3-adrenoceptor-mediated functions. The effect of rosiglitazone in epididymal white adipocytes, was much lower compared to inguinal white adipocytes. Rosiglitazone also increased α1-adrenoceptor mediated increases in calcium influx and glucose uptake (but not mitochondrial function) in inguinal and epididymal white adipocytes. In conclusion, the PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone promotes the induction and function of brite adipocytes cultured from inguinal and epididymal white adipose depots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-66
Number of pages13
JournalCellular Signalling
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Adipocyte
  • Brite adipocyte
  • Glucose uptake
  • Mitochondria
  • UCP1
  • β-Adrenoceptor

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