Olaparib induces browning of in vitro cultures of human primary white adipocytes

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Graphical abstractMitochondrial biogenesis is a key feature of energy expenditure and organismal energy balance. Genetic deletion of PARP1 or PARP2 was shown to induce mitochondrial biogenesis and energy expenditure. In line with that, PARP inhibitors were shown to induce energy expenditure in skeletal muscle. We aimed to investigate whether pharmacological inhibition of PARPs induces brown or beige adipocyte differentiation. SVF fraction of human pericardial adipose tissue was isolated and human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hADMSCs) were differentiated to white and beige adipocytes. A subset of hADMSCs were differentiated to white adipocytes in the presence of Olaparib, a potent PARP inhibitor currently in clinical use, to induce browning. Olaparib induced morphological changes (smaller lipid droplets) in white adipocytes that is a feature of brown/beige adipocytes. Furthermore, Olaparib induced mitochondrial biogenesis in white adipocytes and enhanced UCP1 expression. We showed that Olaparib treatment inhibited nuclear and cytosolic PAR formation, induced NAD+/NADH ratio and consequently boosted SIRT1 and AMPK activity and the downstream transcriptional program leading to increases in OXPHOS. Olaparib treatment did not induce the expression of beige adipocyte markers in white adipocytes, suggesting the formation of brown or brown-like adipocytes.PARP1, PARP2 and tankyrases are key players in the formation of white adipose tissue. Hereby, we show that PARP inhibition induces the transdifferentiation of white adipocytes to brown-like adipocytes suggesting that PARP activity could be a determinant of the differentiation of these adipocyte lineages.

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