Role of extrathyroidal TSHR expression in adipocyte differentiation and its association with obesity

The Institute of Cell Biology, Shandong University School of Medicine, Jinan, China, 250012.
Lipids in Health and Disease (Impact Factor: 2.31). 01/2012; 11:17. DOI: 10.1186/1476-511X-11-17
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Obesity is known to be associated with higher risks of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes mellitus. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSHR) is the receptor for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH, or thyrotropin), the key regulator of thyroid functions. The expression of TSHR, once considered to be limited to thyrocytes, has been so far detected in many extrathyroidal tissues including liver and fat. Previous studies have shown that TSHR expression is upregulated when preadipocytes differentiate into mature adipocytes, suggestive of a possible role of TSHR in adipogenesis. However, it remains unclear whether TSHR expression in adipocytes is implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity.
In the present study, TSHR expression in adipose tissues from both mice and human was analyzed, and its association with obesity was evaluated.
We here showed that TSHR expression was increased at both mRNA and protein levels when 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were induced to differentiate. Knockdown of TSHR blocked the adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes as evaluated by Oil-red-O staining for lipid accumulation and by RT-PCR analyses of PPAR-γ and ALBP mRNA expression. We generated obesity mice (C57/BL6) by high-fat diet feeding and found that the TSHR protein expression in visceral adipose tissues from obesity mice was significantly higher in comparison with the non-obesity control mice (P < 0.05). Finally, the TSHR expression in adipose tissues was determined in 120 patients. The results showed that TSHR expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue is correlated with BMI (body mass index).
Taken together, these results suggested that TSHR is an important regulator of adipocyte differentiation. Dysregulated expression of TSHR in adipose tissues is associated with obesity, which may involve a mechanism of excess adipogenesis.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological evidence indicates that thyrotropin (TSH) is positively correlated with the severity of obesity. However, the mechanism remains unclear. Here, we show that TSH promoted triglyceride (TG) synthesis in differentiated adipocytes in a thyroid hormone-independent manner. Mice with subclinical hypothyroidism, which is characterized by elevated serum TSH but not thyroid hormone levels, demonstrated a 35% increase in the total white adipose mass compared with their wild-type littermates. Interestingly, Tshr KO mice, which had normal thyroid hormone levels after thyroid hormone supplementation, resisted high-fat diet-induced obesity. TSH could directly induce the activity of glycerol-3-phosphate-acyltransferase 3 (GPAT3), the rate-limiting enzyme in TG synthesis, in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. However, following either the knockdown of Tshr and PPARγ or the constitutive activation of AMPK, the changes to TSH-triggered GPAT3 activity and adipogenesis disappeared. The over-expression of PPARγ or the expression of an AMPK dominant negative mutant reversed the TSH-induced changes. Thus, TSH acted as a previously unrecognized master regulator of adipogenesis, indicating that modification of the AMPK/PPARγ/GPAT3 axis via the TSH receptor might serve as a potential therapeutic target for obesity.
    Scientific Reports 01/2015; 5:7633. DOI:10.1038/srep07633 · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is composed of a specific β subunit and an α subunit that is shared with the two pituitary gonadotropins. The three β subunits derive from a common ancestral gene through two genome duplications (1R and 2R) that took place before the radiation of vertebrates. Analysis of genomic data from phylogenetically relevant species allowed us to identify an additional Tshβ subunit-related gene that was generated through 2R. This gene, named Tshβ2, present in cartilaginous fish, little skate and elephant shark, and in early lobe-finned fish, coelacanth and lungfish, was lost in ray-finned fish and tetrapods. The absence of a second type of TSH receptor (Tshr) gene in these species suggests that both TSHs act through the same receptor. A novel Tshβ sister gene, named Tshβ3, was generated through the third genomic duplication (3R) that occurred early in the teleost lineage. Tshβ3 is present in most teleost groups but was lostin tedraodontiforms. The 3R also generated a second Tshr, named Tshrb. Interestingly, the new Tshrb was translocated from its original chromosomic position after the emergence of eels and was then maintained in its new position. Tshrb was lost in tetraodontiforms and in ostariophysians including zebrafish although the latter species have two TSHs, suggesting that TSHRb may be dispensable. The tissue distribution of duplicated Tshβs and Tshrs was studied in the European eel. The endocrine thyrotropic function in the eel would be essentially mediated by the classical Tshβ and Tshra, which are mainly expressed in the pituitary and thyroid, respectively. Tshβ3 and Tshrb showed a similar distribution pattern in the brain, pituitary, ovary and adipose tissue, suggesting a possible paracrine/autocrine mode of action in these non-thyroidal tissues. Further studies will be needed to determine the binding specificity of the two receptors and how these two TSH systems are interrelated.
    PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e111361. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0111361 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) has been shown to play an important role in the regulation of triglyceride (TG) metabolism in adipose tissue. Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) is a rate-limiting enzyme controlling the hydrolysis of TG. Thus far, it is unclear whether TSH has a direct effect on the expression of ATGL. Because TSH function is mediated through the TSH receptor (TSHR), TSHR knockout mice (Tshr-/- mice) (supplemented with thyroxine) were used in this study to determine the effects of TSHR deletion on ATGL expression. These effects were verified in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and potential underlying mechanisms were explored. In the Tshr-/- mice, ATGL expression in epididymal adipose tissue was significantly increased compared with that in Tshr+/+ mice. ATGL expression was observed to increase with the differentiation process of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. In mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes, TSH significantly suppressed ATGL expression at both the protein and mRNA levels in a dose-dependent manner. Forskolin, which is an activator of adenylate cyclase, suppressed the expression of ATGL in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The inhibitory effects of TSH on ATGL expression were abolished by H89, which is a protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor. These results indicate that TSH has an inhibitory effect on ATGL expression in mature adipocytes. The associated mechanism is related to PKA activation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(1):e0116439. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0116439 · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text (3 Sources)

Available from
May 15, 2014