Anagnostopoulos Gerasimos et al.
Acyl-coenzyme-A-binding protein (ACBP), also known as a diazepam-binding inhibitor (DBI), is a potent stimulator of appetite and lipogenesis. Bioinformatic analyses combined with systematic screens revealed that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) is the transcription factor that best explains the ACBP/DBI upregulation in metabolically active organs including the liver and adipose tissue. The PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone-induced ACBP/DBI upregulation, as well as weight gain, that could be prevented by knockout of Acbp/Dbi in mice. Moreover, liver-specific knockdown of Pparg prevented the high-fat diet (HFD)-induced upregulation of circulating ACBP/DBI levels and reduced body weight gain. Conversely, knockout of Acbp/Dbi prevented the HFD-induced upregulation of PPARγ. Notably, a single amino acid substitution (F77I) in the γ2 subunit of gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor (GABAR), which abolishes ACBP/DBI binding to this receptor, prevented the HFD-induced weight gain, as well as the HFD-induced upregulation of ACBP/DBI, GABAR γ2, and PPARγ. Based on these results, we postulate the existence of an obesogenic feedforward loop relying on ACBP/DBI, GABAR, and PPARγ. Interruption of this vicious cycle, at any level, indistinguishably mitigates HFD-induced weight gain, hepatosteatosis, and hyperglycemia.