Adipose tissue-derived neurotrophic factor 3 regulates sympathetic innervation and thermogenesis in adipose tissue

Xin Cui, Jia Jing, Rui Wu, Qiang Cao, Fenfen Li, Ke Li, Shirong Wang, Liqing Yu, Gary Schwartz, Huidong Shi, Bingzhong Xue, Hang Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Activation of brown fat thermogenesis increases energy expenditure and alleviates obesity. Sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is important in brown/beige adipocyte thermogenesis. Here we discover a fat-derived “adipokine” neurotrophic factor neurotrophin 3 (NT-3) and its receptor Tropomyosin receptor kinase C (TRKC) as key regulators of SNS growth and innervation in adipose tissue. NT-3 is highly expressed in brown/beige adipocytes, and potently stimulates sympathetic neuron neurite growth. NT-3/TRKC regulates a plethora of pathways in neuronal axonal growth and elongation. Adipose tissue sympathetic innervation is significantly increased in mice with adipocyte-specific NT-3 overexpression, but profoundly reduced in mice with TRKC haploinsufficiency (TRKC +/−). Increasing NT-3 via pharmacological or genetic approach promotes beige adipocyte development, enhances cold-induced thermogenesis and protects against diet-induced obesity (DIO); whereas TRKC + /− or SNS TRKC deficient mice are cold intolerant and prone to DIO. Thus, NT-3 is a fat-derived neurotrophic factor that regulates SNS innervation, energy metabolism and obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5362
JournalNature communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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