Impaired adipogenic response to thiazolidinediones in mice expressing human apolipoproteinE4

Jose M. Arbones-Mainar, Lance A. Johnson, Michael K. Altenburg, Hyung Suk Kim, Nobuyo Maeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are insulin sensitizers used to treat patients with insulin resistance. To assess potential gene-drug interactions, mice expressing human apolipoprotein E3 or E4 (APOE3 or APOE4) were fed a Western-type high-fat diet for 12 wk, at which time they developed similarly impaired glucose tolerance. Supplementing the diet with rosiglitazone (1.5 mg/g body weight) for an additional 4 wk improved plasma lipid profiles in both APOE3 and APOE4 mice. However, glucose tolerance improved only in APOE3 mice. Induction of adipogenesis and lipogenesis was severely blunted in adipose tissues, but not in the livers, of APOE4 mice. Consequently, lipids were channeled to the liver, causing marked steatosis in these mice. Impaired glucose tolerance was not a prerequisite for this adverse effect, and long-term treatment with rosiglitazone altered liver enzymes and caused hepatic fibrosis in APOE4 mice. Finally, TZDs failed to stimulate PPARγ activation and adipocyte differentiation in preadipocytes and embryonic fibroblasts isolated from APOE4 mice compared to those from APOE3 mice. We conclude that the effects of TZDs are APOE isoform dependent, and that the metabolic damage observed in APOE4 mice is rooted in an impaired activation of the adipogenic program in the adipose tissues expressing APOE4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3809-3818
Number of pages10
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Adipogenesis
  • Fatty liver
  • Insulin resistance
  • Western-type diet
  • apoE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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