Activation of the p53 pathway in adipose tissue contributes to insulin resistance associated with obesity. However, the mechanisms of p53 activation and the impact on adipocyte functions are still elusive. Here we found a higher level of DNA oxidation and a reduction in telomere length in adipose tissue of high-fat diet mice and an increase in DNA damage and activation of the p53 pathway in adipocytes. Interestingly, hallmarks of chronic DNA damage are visible at the onset of obesity. Furthermore, treatment of lean mice with doxorubicin, a DNA damage-inducing drug, increased the expression of chemokines in adipose tissue and promoted its infiltration by pro-inflammatory macrophages and neutrophils together with adipocyte insulin resistance. In vitro, DNA damage in adipocytes increased chemokines expression and triggered the production of chemotactic factors for macrophages and neutrophils. Insulin signaling and effect on glucose uptake and Glut4 translocation were decreased while lipolysis was increased. These events were prevented by p53 inhibition whereas its activation by nutlin-3 reproduced the DNA damage-induced adverse effects. This study reveals that DNA damage in obese adipocyte could trigger p53-dependent signals involved in alteration of adipocyte metabolism and secretory function leading to adipose tissue inflammation, adipocyte dysfunction and insulin resistance.
- Received January 4, 2016.
- Accepted June 29, 2016.
- © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.