PGC-1 alpha regulates HO-1 expression, mitochondrial dynamics and biogenesis: Role of epoxyeicosatrienoic acid

Shailendra P. Singh, Joseph Schragenheim, Jian Cao, J R Falck, Nader G. Abraham, Lars Bellner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Background/objectives Obesity is a risk factor in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2), which is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, predominantly as a result of cardiovascular complications. Increased adiposity is a systemic condition characterized by increased oxidative stress (ROS), increased inflammation, inhibition of anti-oxidant genes such as HO-1 and increased degradation of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs). We previously demonstrated that EETs attenuate mitochondrial ROS. We postulate that EETs increase peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α), which controls mitochondrial function, oxidative metabolism and induction of HO-1. Methods Cultured murine adipocytes and mice fed a high fat (HF) diet were used to assess functional relationship between EETs, HO-1 and (PGC-1α) using an EET analogue (EET-A) and lentivirus to knock down the PPARGC1A gene. Results EET-A increased PGC-1α and HO-1 in cultured adipocytes and increased the expression of genes involved in thermogenesis and adipocyte browning (UCP1 and PRDM16, respectively). PGC-1α knockdown prevented EET-A-induced HO-1expression, suggesting that PGC-1α is upstream of HO-1. MRI data obtained from fat tissues showed that EET-A administration to mice on a HF diet significantly reduced total body fat content, subcutaneous and visceral fat deposits and reduced the VAT: SAT ratio. Moreover EET-A normalized the VO2 and RQ (VCO2/VO2) in mice fed a HF diet, an effect that was completely prevented in PGC-1α deficient mice. In addition, EET-A increased mitochondrial biogenesis and function as measured by OPA1, MnSOD, Mfn1, Mfn2, and SIRT3, an effect that was inhibited by knockdown of PGC-1α. Conclusion Taken together, our findings show that EET-A increased PGC-1α thereby increasing mitochondrial viability, increased fusion potential thereby providing metabolic protection and increased VO2 consumption in HF-induced obesity in mice, thus demonstrating that the EET-mediated increase in HO-1 levels require PGC-1α expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-18
Number of pages11
JournalProstaglandins and Other Lipid Mediators
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Epoxyeicosatrienoic acid
  • HO-1
  • Metabolic dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cell Biology


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