Recent studies implicate macrophages in regulation of thermogenic, sympathetic neuron-mediated norepinephrine (NE) signaling in adipose tissues, but understanding of such non-classical macrophage activities is incomplete. Here we show that male mice lacking the allograft inflammatory factor-1 (AIF1) protein resist high fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and hyperglycemia. We link this phenotype to higher adipose NE levels that stem from decreased monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) expression and NE clearance by AIF1-deficient macrophages, and find through reciprocal bone marrow transplantation that donor Aif1-/- vs WT genotype confers the obesity phenotype in mice. Interestingly, human sequence variants near the AIF1 locus associate with obesity and diabetes; in adipose samples from participants with obesity, we observe direct correlation of AIF1 and MAOA transcript levels. These findings identify AIF1 as a regulator of MAOA expression in macrophages and catecholamine activity in adipose tissues – limiting energy expenditure and promoting energy storage – and suggest how it might contribute to human obesity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)