Abstract 1376: The Nadph Oxidase Nox4 Controls Mkp1 Expression and Thereby the Development of White Adipose Tissue
Obesity is a cardiovascular risk factor. Insulin promotes the formation of adipocytes by promoting fibroblast into adipocyte differentiation. Insulin however also acts as a mitogen for fibroblasts and the balance of insulin-induced proliferation and differentiation is incompletely understood. We hypothesize that the NADPH oxidase Nox4 acts as a central switch between these two processes. In 3T3-fibroblasts Nox4 siRNA reduced the cellular radical formation and attenuated the insulin-stimulated differentiation from fibroblasts into adipocytes. Importantly, insulin-induced proliferation was enhanced by Nox4 siRNA. Accordingly, Nox4 overexpression enhanced differentiation and reduced insulin-stimulated proliferation. We generated Nox4 knockout mice to study the in vivo relevance of this observation: The amount of adipose tissue was reduced in the Nox4−/− animals as compared to their wildtype littermates suggesting indeed an attenuated adipocyte differentiation, whereas fibroblasts obtained from Nox4−/− mice presented with enhanced proliferation. To uncover the underlying mechanism, we focused on the Erk1/2 pathway. Erk1/2 signaling is prevented by dephosphorylation through the dualspecific phosphatase MKP1. Luciferase reportergene assays using the full-length MKP1 promotor revealed that Nox4 siRNA reduced, and overexpression of Nox4 as well as treatment of the cells with H2O2 induced MKP1 promotor activity. Indeed, Nox4 siRNA reduced MKP1 protein expression and thus enhanced basal and insulin-induced activation of Erk1/2 in fibroblasts. Nox4 overexpression had the opposite effect. Importantly, MKP1 expression was also reduced in adipose tissue from Nox4−/− mice. Overexpression of MKP1 in fibroblastes increased insulin-induced differentiation and attenuated proliferation, whereas MKP1 siRNA had the opposite effect. We conclude that Nox4, by regulating MKP1, is essentially involved in adipocyte differentiation and development of obesity.