Glucose availability controls adipogenesis in mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes via up-regulation of nicotinamide metabolism

Robert M. Jackson, Beth A. Griesel, Jami M. Gurley, Luke I. Szweda, Ann Louise Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Expansion of adipose tissue in response to a positive energy balance underlies obesity and occurs through both hypertrophy of existing cells and increased differentiation of adipocyte precursors (hyperplasia). To better understand the nutrient signals that promote adipocyte differentiation, we investigated the role of glucose availability in regulating adipocyte differentiation and maturation. 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were grown and differentiated in medium containing a standard differentiation hormone mixture and either 4 or 25 mM glucose. Adipocyte maturation at day 9 post-differentiation was determined by key adipocyte markers, including glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) and adiponectin expression and Oil Red O staining of neutral lipids. We found that adipocyte differentiation and maturation required a pulse of 25 mM glucose only during the first 3 days of differentiation. Importantly, fatty acids were unable to substitute for the 25 mM glucose pulse during this period. The 25 mM glucose pulse increased adiponectin and GLUT4 expression and accumulation of neutral lipids via distinct mechanisms. Adiponectin expression and other early markers of differentiation required an increase in the intracellular pool of total NAD/P. In contrast, GLUT4 protein expression was only partially restored by increased NAD/P levels. Furthermore, GLUT4 mRNA expression was mediated by glucose-dependent activation of GLUT4 gene transcription through the cis-acting GLUT4 –liver X receptor element (LXRE) promoter element. In summary, this study supports the conclusion that high glucose promotes adipocyte differentiation via distinct metabolic pathways and independently of fatty acids. This may partly explain the mechanism underlying adipocyte hyperplasia that occurs much later than adipocyte hypertrophy in the development of obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18556-18564
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 10 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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