An IGF1R-Dependent Pathway Drives Epicardial Adipose Tissue Formation After Myocardial Injury
Background—Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) volume and coronary artery disease are strongly associated, even after accounting for overall body mass. Despite its pathophysiological significance, the origin and paracrine signaling pathways that regulate EAT's formation and expansion are unclear.
Methods—We used a novel modified mRNA (modRNA)-based screening approach to probe the effect of individual paracrine factors on epicardial progenitors in the adult heart.
Results—Using two independent lineage tracing strategies in murine models, we show that cells originating from the Wt1+ mesothelial lineage, which includes epicardial cells, differentiate into EAT following myocardial infarction (MI). This differentiation process required Wt1 expression in this lineage and was stimulated by insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) activation. IGF1R inhibition within this lineage significantly reduced its adipogenic differentiation, in the context of exogenous, IGF1 modRNA stimulation. Moreover, IGF1R inhibition significantly reduced Wt1-lineage cell differentiation into adipocytes after MI.
Conclusions—Our results establish IGF1R signaling as a key pathway that governs EAT formation in the context of myocardial injury by redirecting the fate of Wt1+ lineage cells. Our study also demonstrates the power of modRNA-based paracrine factor library screening to dissect signaling pathways that govern progenitor cell activity in homeostasis and disease.
- Received February 17, 2016.
- Revision received August 18, 2016.
- Accepted October 8, 2016.