The development of cardiometabolic complications during obesity is strongly associated with chronic latent inflammation in hypertrophied adipose tissue (AT). IL-4 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine, playing a protective role against insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and weight gain. The positive effects of IL-4 are associated not only with the activation of anti-inflammatory immune cells in AT, but also with the modulation of adipocyte metabolism. IL-4 is known to activate lipolysis and glucose uptake in adipocytes, but the precise regulatory mechanisms and physiological significance of these processes remain unclear. In this study, we detail IL-4 effects on glucose and triacylglycerides (TAGs) metabolism and propose mechanisms of IL-4 metabolic action in adipocytes. We have shown that IL-4 activates glucose oxidation, lipid droplet (LD) fragmentation, lipolysis and thermogenesis in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes. We found that lipolysis was not accompanied by fatty acids (FAs) release from adipocytes, suggesting FA re-esterification. Moreover, glucose oxidation and thermogenesis stimulation depended on adipocyte triglyceride lipase (ATGL) activity, but not the uncoupling protein (UCP1) expression. Based on these data, IL-4 may activate the futile TAG–FA cycle in adipocytes, which enhances the oxidative activity of cells and heat production. Thus, the positive effect of IL-4 on systemic metabolism can be the result of the activation of non-canonical thermogenic mechanism in AT, increasing TAG turnover and utilization of excessive glucose.
IL-4 activates the futile triacylglyceride cycle for glucose utilization in white adipocytes
Svetlana Michurina, Margarita Agareva, Ekaterina Zubkova, Mikhail Menshikov, Iurii Stafeev, Yelena Parfyonova; IL-4 activates the futile triacylglyceride cycle for glucose utilization in white adipocytes. Biochem J 21 February 2024; 481 (4): 329–344. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BCJ20230486
Download citation file: