High-fat diet-induced adipocyte cell death occurs through a cyclophilin D intrinsic signaling pathway independent of adipose tissue inflammation

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OBJECTIVE - Previous studies have demonstrated that mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) develop insulin resistance with proinflammatory macrophage infiltration into white adipose tissue. Concomitantly, adipocytes undergo programmed cell death with the loss of the adipocyte-specific lipid droplet protein perilipin, and the dead/dying adipocytes are surrounded by macrophages that are organized into crown-like structures. This study investigated whether adipocyte cell death provides the driving signal for macrophage inflammation or if inflammation induces adipocyte cell death. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Two knockout mouse models were used: granulocyte/monocyte-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-null mice that are protected against HFD-induced adipose tissue inflammation and cyclophilin D (CyP-D)-null mice that are protected against adipocyte cell death. Mice were fed for 4-14 weeks with a 60% HFD, and different markers of cell death and inflammation were analyzed. RESULTS - HFD induced a normal extent of adipocyte cell death in GM-CSF-null mice, despite a marked reduction in adipose tissue inflammation. Similarly, depletion of macrophages by clodronate treatment prevented HFD-induced adipose tissue inflammation without any affect on adipocyte cell death. However, CyP-D deficiency strongly protected adipocytes from HFD-induced cell death, without affecting adipose tissue inflammation. CONCLUSIONS - These data demonstrate that HFD-induced adipocyte cell death is an intrinsic cellular response that is CyP-D dependent but is independent of macrophage infiltration/activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2134-2143
Number of pages10
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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