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Antidiabetic thiazolidinediones inhibit leptin (ob) gene expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

Kallen, C.B., Lazar, M.A.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1996 v.93 no.12 pp. 5793-5796
mice, adipocytes, gene expression, structural genes, hormones, polypeptides, hypoglycemic agents, DNA-binding proteins, messenger RNA
Lack of leptin (ob) protein causes obesity in mice. The leptin gene product is important for normal regulation of appetite and metabolic rate and is produced exclusively by adipocytes. Leptin mRNA was induced during the adipose conversion of 3T3-L1 cells, which are useful for studying adipocyte differentiation and function under controlled conditions. We studied leptin regulation by antidiabetic thiazolidinedione compounds, which are ligands for the adipocyte-specific nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma(PPARgamma) that regulates the transcription of other adipocyte-specific genes. Remarkably, leptin gene expression was dramatically repressed within a few hours after thiazolidinedione treatment. The ED50 for inhibition of leptin expression by the thiazolidinedione BRL49653 was between 5 and 50 nM, similar to its Kd for binding to PPARgamma. The relatively weak, nonthiazolidinedione PPAR activator WY 14,643 also inhibited leptin expression, but was approximately 1000 times less potent than BRL49653. These results indicate that antidiabetic thiazolidinediones down-regulate leptin gene expression with potencies that correlate with their abilities to bind and activate PPARgamma.