PPARγ is a major regulator of branched-chain amino acid blood levels and catabolism in white and brown adipose tissues

Pierre Gilles Blanchard, Rafael J. Moreira, Érique Castro, Alexandre Caron, Marie Côté, Maynara L. Andrade, Tiago E. Oliveira, Milene Ortiz-Silva, Albert S. Peixoto, France Anne Dias, Yves Gélinas, Renata Guerra-Sá, Yves Deshaies, William T. Festuccia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: We investigated whether PPARγ modulates adipose tissue BCAA metabolism, and whether this mediates the attenuation of obesity-associated insulin resistance induced by pharmacological PPARγ activation. Methods: Mice with adipocyte deletion of one or two PPARγ copies fed a chow diet and rats fed either chow, or high fat (HF) or HF supplemented with BCAA (HF/BCAA) diets treated with rosiglitazone (30 or 15 mg/kg/day, 14 days) were evaluated for glucose and BCAA homeostasis. Results: Adipocyte deletion of one PPARγ copy increased mice serum BCAA and reduced inguinal white (iWAT) and brown (BAT) adipose tissue BCAA incorporation into triacylglycerol, as well as mRNA levels of branched-chain aminotransferase (BCAT)2 and branched-chain α-ketoacid dehydrogenase (BCKDH) complex subunits. Adipocyte deletion of two PPARγ copies induced lipodystrophy, severe glucose intolerance and markedly increased serum BCAA. Rosiglitazone abolished the increase in serum BCAA induced by adipocyte PPARγ deletion. In rats, HF increased serum BCAA, such levels being further increased by BCAA supplementation. Rosiglitazone, independently of diet, lowered serum BCAA and upregulated iWAT and BAT BCAT and BCKDH activities. This was associated with a reduction in mTORC1-dependent inhibitory serine phosphorylation of IRS1 in skeletal muscle and whole-body insulin resistance evaluated by HOMA-IR. Conclusions: PPARγ, through the regulation of both BAT and iWAT BCAA catabolism in lipoeutrophic mice and muscle insulin responsiveness and proteolysis in lipodystrophic mice, is a major determinant of circulating BCAA levels. PPARγ agonism, therefore, may improve whole-body and muscle insulin sensitivity by reducing blood BCAA, alleviating mTORC1-mediated inhibitory IRS1 phosphorylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
JournalMetabolism: clinical and experimental
StatePublished - Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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