Abstract 1123: Critical Role Of Adipose Senescence In Insulin Resistance And Vascular Dysfunction
Cellular senescence is originally described as the finite replicative lifespan of human somatic cells in culture. As a consequence of semi-conservative DNA replication, the extreme terminals of the chromosomes are not duplicated completely, resulting in successive shortening of telomeres with each cell division. Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein that adds telomeres to the ends of chromosomes. Critically short telomeres are thought to trigger DNA damage response, thereby inducing cellular senescence. Accumulating evidence has suggested that senescent cells promote aging phenotypes or age-related pathologies. Here we show that adipose senescence is critically involved in the regulation of insulin resistance that underlies age-associated cardiovascular disease. The later generation of telomerase-deficient mice with short telomeres exhibited insulin resistance and vascular dysfunction when fed on a high-calorie diet. Adipose tissue of these mice revealed senescence-like phenotypes such as an increase in neutral β galactosidase activity and upregulation of p53 and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines were markedly elevated in telomerase-deficient mice and treatment of these mice with a neutralizing antibody against TNF-α significantly improved insulin and glucose intolerance. Removal of senescent adipose tissue reduced serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and thereby improved insulin resistance in telomerase-deficient mice. Conversely, implantation of senescent adipose tissue to wild-type mice impaired insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in recipients. Introduction of telomere dysfunction to young adipose tissue markedly upregulated p53 expression and increased the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Inhibition of p53 activity significantly improved senescence-like phenotypes of adipose tissue, insulin resistance, and vascular dysfunction in telomerase-deficient mice. These results disclose a novel mechanism of insulin resistance and suggest that adipose senescence is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of diabetes and diabetic vasculopathy.