Adipose tissue inflammation and systemic insulin resistance in mice with diet-induced obesity is possibly associated with disruption of PFKFB3 in hematopoietic cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Obesity-associated inflammation in white adipose tissue (WAT) is a causal factor of systemic insulin resistance; however, precisely how immune cells regulate WAT inflammation in relation to systemic insulin resistance remains to be elucidated. The present study examined a role for 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3) in hematopoietic cells in regulating WAT inflammation and systemic insulin sensitivity. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) or low-fat diet (LFD) for 12 weeks and examined for WAT inducible 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase (iPFK2) content, while additional HFD-fed mice were treated with rosiglitazone and examined for PFKFB3 mRNAs in WAT stromal vascular cells (SVC). Also, chimeric mice in which PFKFB3 was disrupted only in hematopoietic cells and control chimeric mice were also fed an HFD and examined for HFD-induced WAT inflammation and systemic insulin resistance. In vitro, adipocytes were co-cultured with bone marrow-derived macrophages and examined for adipocyte proinflammatory responses and insulin signaling. Compared with their respective levels in controls, WAT iPFK2 amount in HFD-fed mice and WAT SVC PFKFB3 mRNAs in rosiglitazone-treated mice were significantly increased. When the inflammatory responses were analyzed, peritoneal macrophages from PFKFB3-disrputed mice revealed increased proinflammatory activation and decreased anti-inflammatory activation compared with control macrophages. At the whole animal level, hematopoietic cell-specific PFKFB3 disruption enhanced the effects of HFD feeding on promoting WAT inflammation, impairing WAT insulin signaling, and increasing systemic insulin resistance. In vitro, adipocytes co-cultured with PFKFB3-disrupted macrophages revealed increased proinflammatory responses and decreased insulin signaling compared with adipocytes co-cultured with control macrophages. These results suggest that PFKFB3 disruption in hematopoietic cells only exacerbates HFD-induced WAT inflammation and systemic insulin resistance.

published proceedings

  • Lab Invest

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhu, B., Guo, X., Xu, H., Jiang, B., Li, H., Wang, Y., ... Wu, C.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Zhu, Bilian||Guo, Xin||Xu, Hang||Jiang, Boxiong||Li, Honggui||Wang, Yina||Yin, Qiongli||Zhou, Tianhao||Cai, James J||Glaser, Shannon||Meng, Fanyin||Francis, Heather||Alpini, Gianfranco||Wu, Chaodong

publication date

  • March 2021