Hypoxia in adipose tissue is regarded as a trigger that induces dysregulation of the secretory profile in adipocytes. Similarly, local dysregulation of adipocytokine secretion is an initial event in the deleterious effects of obesity on metabolism. We previously reported that CXCL13 is highly produced during adipogenesis, however little is known about the roles of CXCL13 in adipocytes. Here, we found that hypoxia, as modeled by 1% O2 or exposure to the hypoxia-mimetic reagent desferrioxamine (DFO) has strong inductive effects on the expression of CXCL13 and CXCR5, a CXCL13 receptor, in both undifferentiated and differentiated adipocytes and in organ-cultured white adipose tissue (WAT). CXCL13 was also highly expressed in WAT from high fat diet-fed mice. Hypoxic profile, typified by increased expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and decreased expression of adiponectin, was significantly induced by CXCL13 treatment during adipogenic differentiation. Conversely, the treatment of adipocytes with a neutralizing-antibody against CXCL13 as well as CXCR5 knockdown by specific siRNA effectively inhibited DFO-induced inflammation. The phosphorylation of Akt2, a protective factor of adipose inflammation, was significantly inhibited by CXCL13 treatment during adipogenic differentiation. Mechanistically, CXCL13 induces the expression of PHLPP1, an Akt2 phosphatase, through focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling; and correspondingly we show that CXCL13 and DFO-induced IL-6 and PAI-1 expression was blocked by Phlpp1 knockdown. Furthermore, we revealed the functional binding sites of PPARγ2 and HIF1-α within the Cxcl13 promoter. Taken together, these results indicate that CXCL13 is an adipocytokine that facilitates hypoxia-induced inflammation in adipocytes through FAK-mediated induction of PHLPP1 in autocrine and/or paracrine manner.

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