Metallothionein gene expression and secretion in white adipose tissue

P Trayhurn, J S Duncan, A M Wood, J H Beattie

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    Abstract

    White adipose tissue (WAT) has been examined to determine whether the gene encoding metallothionein (MT), a low-molecular-weight stress response protein, is expressed in the tissue and whether MT may be a secretory product of adipocytes. The MT-1 gene was expressed in epididymal WAT, with MT-1 mRNA levels being similar in lean and obese (ob/ob) mice. MT-1 mRNA was found in each of the main adipose tissue sites (epididymal, perirenal, omental, subcutaneous), and there was no major difference between depots. Separation of adipocytes from the stromal-vascular fraction of WAT indicated that the MT gene (MT-1 and MT-2) was expressed in adipocytes themselves. Treatment of mice with zinc had no effect on MT-1 mRNA levels in WAT, despite strong induction of MT-1 expression in the liver. MT-1 gene expression in WAT was also unaltered by fasting or norepinephrine. However, administration of a beta (3)-adrenoceptor agonist, BRL-35153A, led to a significant increase in MT-1 mRNA. On differentiation of fibroblastic preadipocytes to adipocytes in primary culture, MT was detected in the medium, suggesting that the protein may be secreted from WAT. It is concluded that WAT may be a significant site of MT production; within adipocytes, MT could play an antioxidant role in protecting fatty acids from damage.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)R2329-R2335
    Number of pages7
    JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology-Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
    Volume279
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000

    Keywords

    • adipocytes
    • antioxidant
    • cell culture
    • fasting
    • beta-adrenoceptor agonists
    • PLASMINOGEN-ACTIVATOR INHIBITOR-1
    • OB GENE
    • LEPTIN RECEPTOR
    • FEMALE MICE
    • OBESE MICE
    • MOUSE
    • RATS
    • GLUCOCORTICOIDS
    • DIFFERENTIATION
    • ENDOCRINE

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