Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) was shown to improve metabolic homeostasis, at least partly by controlling white adipocyte profile and adiponectin secretion. Here, we studied its effect on adipocyte dysfunction in the context of Berardinelli-Seip Congenital Lipodystrophy (BSCL) linked to seipin-deficiency. Bscl2-/- mice displayed a progressive adipose tissue loss with aging as evidenced by the altered profile of residual fat pads and the decrease in adiponectin plasma levels in 12 vs 4-week-old animals. Aiming to prevent this impairment, we treated 6-week-old Bscl2-/- mice with an FGF21 analogue (LY2405319) for a period of 28 days. FGF21 treatment increased adiponectin plasma levels and normalized insulin sensitivity in Bscl2-/- mice by improving the white adipose tissue gene expression pattern. To further decipher the molecular pathways altered by seipin deficiency in mature adipocytes, we developed a unique inducible seipin knock-down cell-line (SKD). SKD showed chronic activation of the p38 MAPK pathway associated with apoptotic cell death. Interestingly, FGF21 treatment exerted an anti-stress effect on SKD cells, reducing p38 MAPK phosphorylation and limiting mature adipocyte loss. Our data demonstrate that FGF21 treatment improves the metabolic profile of Bscl2-/- lipodystrophic mice, partly by improving mature adipocyte maintenance, through suppression of cellular stress via inhibition of p38 MAPK activity.
- Received March 10, 2016.
- Accepted August 12, 2016.
- © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.