Ortega FJ, Serrano M, Rodriguez-Cuenca S, Moreno-Navarrete JM, Gómez-Serrano M, Sabater M, Rodriguez-Hermosa JI, Xifra G, Ricart W, Peral B, Vidal-Puig A, Fernández-Real JM
Transgenic overexpression of adipose tissue (AT) transducin-like enhancer of split 3 (TLE3) mimicked peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonists, improving insulin resistance in mice. This study aimed to investigate TLE3 gene expression (qRT-PCR) and protein (Western blot) in subjects with a wide spectrum of obesity and insulin sensitivity and in an independent cohort of obese subjects following surgery-induced weight loss. TLE3 was analyzed in human adipocytes and after treatment with rosiglitazone. Given the findings in humans, TLE3 was also investigated in mice after a high-fat diet (HFD) and in PPARγ knockout mice. Subcutaneous (SC) AT TLE3 was increased in subjects with type 2 diabetes (T2D). In fact, SC TLE3 was associated with increased fasting glucose (r = 0.25, p = 0.015) and S6K1 activity (r = 0.671, p = 0.003), and with decreased Glut4 (r = -0.426, p = 0.006) and IRS-1 expression (-31 %, p = 0.007) and activation (P-IRS-1/IRS-1, -17 %, p = 0.024). TLE3 was preferentially expressed in mature adipocytes and increased during in vitro differentiation in parallel to PPARγ. Weight loss led to improved insulin sensitivity, increased AT PPARγ and decreased TLE3 (-24 %, p = 0.0002), while rosiglitazone administration downregulated TLE3 gene expression in fully differentiated adipocytes (-45 %, p < 0.0001). The concept that TLE3 may act as a homeostatic linchpin in AT was also supported by its increased expression in HFD-fed mice (39 %, p = 0.013) and PPARγ knockout (74 %, p = 0.001). In summary, increased AT TLE3 in subjects with T2D and in AT from HFD-fed and PPARγ knockout mice suggest that TLE3 may play an adaptive regulatory role that improves AT function under decreased PPARγ expression. KEY MESSAGE: TLE3 is expressed in mature adipocytes concomitantly with PPARγ. Subcutaneous adipose TLE3 is increased in T2D patients. Adipose TLE3 is upregulated in genetically ablated PPARγ and HFD-fed mice. TLE3 may be a homeostatic linchpin in insulin resistance and defective PPARγ.