Lipid accumulation in liver and skeletal muscle contributes to co-morbidities associated with diabetes and obesity. We made a transgenic mouse in which the adiponectin (Adipoq) promoter drives expression of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in adipocytes to potentially increase adipose tissue lipid storage. These mice (Adipoq-LPL) have improved glucose and insulin tolerance as well as increased energy expenditure when challenged with a high fat diet (HFD). To identify the mechanism(s) involved, we determined whether the Adipoq-LPL mice diverted dietary lipid to adipose tissue to reduce peripheral lipotoxicity, but we found no evidence for this. Instead, characterization of the adipose tissue of the male mice after HFD challenge revealed that the mRNA levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) and a number of PPARγ-regulated genes were higher in the epididymal fat pads of Adipoq-LPL mice than control mice. This included adiponectin, whose mRNA levels were increased, leading to increased adiponectin serum levels in the Adipoq-LPL mice. In many respects, the adipose phenotype of these animals resembles thiazolidinedione treatment except for one important difference, the Adipoq-LPL mice did not gain more fat mass on HFD than control mice and did not have increased expression of genes in adipose such as glycerol kinase, which are induced by high affinity PPAR agonists. Rather, there was selective induction of PPARγ-regulated genes such as adiponectin in the adipose of the Adipoq-LPL mice, suggesting that increasing adipose tissue LPL improves glucose metabolism in diet-induced obesity by improving the adipose tissue phenotype. Adipoq-LPL mice also have increased energy expenditure.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, v. 290, no. 18, p. 11547-11556.

This research was originally published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. R. Grace Walton, Beibei Zhu, Resat Unal, Michael Spencer, Manjula Sunkara, Andrew J. Morris, Richard Charnigo, Wendy S. Katz, Alan Daugherty, Deborah A. Howatt, Philip A. Kern, and Brian S. Finlin. Increasing Adipocyte Lipoprotein Lipase Improves Glucose Metabolism in High Fat Diet-induced Obesity. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2015; 290:11547-11556. © the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

The copyright holder has granted the permission for posting the article here.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

This work was supported, in whole or in part, by National Institutes of Health Institutional Development Award P20 GM103527-06 (to B. S. F.) and Grants DK039176 (to P. A. K.) and DK071349 (to P. A. K.) from NIGMS. This work was also supported in part by Clinical and Translational Science Award Grant UL1TR000117.