Exposure of mice or humans to cold promotes significant changes in brown adipose tissue (BAT) with respect to histology, lipid content, gene expression, and mitochondrial mass and function. Herein we report that the lipid droplet coat protein Perilipin 5 (PLIN5) increases markedly in BAT during exposure of mice to cold. To understand the functional significance of cold-induced PLIN5, we created and characterized gain- and loss-of-function mouse models. Enforcing PLIN5 expression in mouse BAT mimics the effects of cold with respect to mitochondrial cristae packing and uncoupled substrate-driven respiration. PLIN5 is necessary for the maintenance of mitochondrial cristae structure and respiratory function during cold stress. We further show that promoting PLIN5 function in BAT is associated with healthy remodeling of subcutaneous white adipose tissue and improvements in systemic glucose tolerance and diet-induced hepatic steatosis. These observations will inform future strategies that seek to exploit thermogenic adipose tissue as a therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes, obesity, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)