Agonist-induced activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is known to cause adipocyte differentiation and insulin sensitivity. The biological role of PPARγ was investigated by gene targeting. Homozygous PPARγ-deficient embryos died at 10.5-11.5 dpc due to placental dysfunction. Quite unexpectedly, heterozygous PPARγ-deficient mice were protected from the development of insulin resistance due to adipocyte hypertrophy under a high-fat diet. These phenotypes were abrogated by PPARγ agonist treatment. Heterozygous PPARγ-deficient mice showed overexpression and hypersecretion of leptin despite the smaller size of adipocytes and decreased fat mass, which may explain these phenotypes at least in part. This study reveals a hitherto unpredicted role for PPARγ in high-fat-diet-induced obesity due to adipocyte hypertrophy and insulin resistance, which requires both alleles of PPARγ.
ASJC Scopus subject areas