Indications of adipose tissue dysfunction correlate with systemic insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. It has been suggested that a defect in adipose tissue turnover may be involved in the development of these disorders. Whether this dysfunction causes or exacerbates systemic insulin resistance is not fully understood.Objectives, Participants, and Measures:
We tested whether the expression of members of the mitogenic ErbB family was reduced in adipose tissue of insulin-resistant individuals and whether ErbB1 and ErbB2 were involved in adipogenesis. Thirty-two women covering a wide range of body mass index values and insulin sensitivity participated in the cross-sectional portion of this study. We also studied preadipocytes isolated from 12 insulin-sensitive individuals to evaluate the impact of ErbB1 or ErbB2 inhibition on adipogenesis in vitro. For this purpose, we measured phospho-ErbB1 and phospho-ErbB2 levels using ELISA and the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and PPARγ-regulated genes by real-time PCR.Results:
Among the ErbB family members, only ErbB1 expression was correlated with insulin sensitivity. Additionally, ErbB1 levels correlated positively with PPARγ and several PPARγ-regulated genes including acyl-coenzyme A synthetase long-chain family member 1 (ACSL1), adiponectin, adipose tissue triacylglycerol lipase (ATGL), diacylglycerol acyl transferase 1 (DGAT1), glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase 1 (GPD1), and lipoprotein lipase (LPL), but negatively with CD36 and fatty acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4). In preadipocyte culture, ErbB1, but not ErbB2, inhibition was associated with a reduction in the expression of all the above-mentioned genes.Conclusions:
These findings demonstrate a key role for ErbB1 in adipogenesis and suggest that lower ErbB1 protein abundance may lead to adipose tissue dysfunction.