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Leptin Promotes White Adipocyte Browning by Inhibiting the Hh Signaling Pathway

Key Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Shaanxi Province, Laboratory of Animal Fat Deposition and Muscle Development, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Cells 2019, 8(4), 372;
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
PDF [3906 KB, uploaded 24 April 2019]


Leptin is an important secretory protein that regulates the body’s intake and energy consumption, and the functions of the Hh signaling pathway related to white adipocyte browning are controversial. It has been reported that leptin plays a critical role in adipogenesis by regulating the Hh signaling pathway, but whether there is a functional relationship between leptin, the Hh signaling pathway, and adipocyte browning is not clear. In this research, mouse white pre-adipocytes were isolated to explore the influence of the Hh signal pathway and leptin during the process described above. This showed that leptin decreased high fat diet-induced obese mice body weight and inhibited the Hh signaling pathway, which suggested that leptin and the Hh signaling pathway have an important role in obesity. After activation of the Hh signaling pathway, significantly decreased browning fat-relative gene expression levels were recorded, whereas inhibition of the Hh signaling pathway significantly up-regulated the expression of these genes. Similarly, leptin also up-regulated the expression of these genes, and increased mitochondrial DNA content, but decreased the expression of Gli, the key transcription factors of the Hh signaling pathway. In short, the results show that leptin promotes white adipocyte browning through inhibiting the Hh signaling pathway. Overall, these results demonstrate that leptin serves as a potential intervention to decrease obesity by inhibiting the Hh signaling pathway. View Full-Text
Keywords: leptin; Hh signaling pathway; adipocyte; browning leptin; Hh signaling pathway; adipocyte; browning

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Wang, J.; Ge, J.; Cao, H.; Zhang, X.; Guo, Y.; Li, X.; Xia, B.; Yang, G.; Shi, X. Leptin Promotes White Adipocyte Browning by Inhibiting the Hh Signaling Pathway. Cells 2019, 8, 372.

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