Increased hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance in mice lacking hepatic androgen receptor

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Abstract

Early studies demonstrated that whole-body androgen receptor (AR)–knockout mice with hypogonadism exhibit insulin resistance. However, details about the mechanisms underlying how androgen/AR signaling regulates insulin sensitivity in individual organs remain unclear. We therefore generated hepatic AR-knockout (H-AR−/y) mice and found that male H-AR−/y mice, but not female H-AR−/− mice, fed a high-fat diet developed hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance, and aging male H-AR−/y mice fed chow exhibited moderate hepatic steatosis. We hypothesized that increased hepatic steatosis in obese male H-AR−/y mice resulted from decreased fatty acid β-oxidation, increasedde novolipid synthesis arising from decreased PPARα, increased sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c, and associated changes in target gene expression. Reduced insulin sensitivity in fat-fed H-AR−/y mice was associated with decreased phosphoinositide-3 kinase activity and increased phosphenolpyruvate carboxykinase expression and correlated with increased protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B expression.Conclusion:Together, our results suggest that hepatic AR may play a vital role in preventing the development of insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. AR agonists that specifically target hepatic AR might be developed to provide a better strategy for treatment of metabolic syndrome in men.

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