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Metabolic Cage Study in HFD-fed Hig2 KO Mice
We have shown that Hig2 is a lipid droplet protein and want to investigate its
role in adipocytes. The knockouts have reduced adipose tissue weight and
improved glucose tolerance on HFD.
The liver is a major site of glucose, fatty acid, and triglyceride (TG)
synthesis and serves as a major regulator of whole body nutrient homeostasis.
Chronic exposure of humans or rodents to high-calorie diets promotes
non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, characterized by neutral lipid accumulation
in lipid droplets (LD) of hepatocytes. Here we show that the LD protein
hypoxia-inducible gene 2 (Hig2/Hilpda) functions to enhance lipid accumulation
in hepatocytes by attenuating TG hydrolysis. Hig2 expression increased in livers
of mice on a high-fat diet and during fasting, two states associated with
enhanced hepatic TG content. Hig2 expressed in primary mouse hepatocytes
localized to LDs and promoted LD TG deposition in the presence of oleate.
Conversely, tamoxifen-inducible Hig2 deletion reduced both TG content and LD
size in primary hepatocytes from mice harboring floxed alleles of Hig2 and a
cre/ERT2 transgene controlled by the ubiquitin C promoter. Hepatic TG was also
decreased by liver-specific deletion of Hig2 in mice with floxed Hig2 expressing
cre controlled by the albumin promoter. Importantly, we demonstrate that
Hig2-deficient hepatocytes exhibit increased TG lipolysis, TG turnover, and
fatty acid oxidation as compared with controls. Interestingly, mice with
liver-specific Hig2 deletion also display improved glucose tolerance. Taken
together, these data indicate that Hig2 plays a major role in promoting lipid
sequestration within LDs in mouse hepatocytes through a mechanism that impairs
Applicable research area(s): Obesity, Metabolism
week(s) post-natal (w)
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Curation Info (# flags)
Name / Abbreviation
Experimental Factor: Experimental Group
This animal belongs to the control group for the experiment.
This animal belongs to experimental group that is homozygous for gene manipulations.
Experimental Factor: Mouse Diet
Research Diets - D12492i
Irradiated form of D12492, Rodent Diet with 60% kcal% fat.
Experimental Factor (Units)
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energy intake (24 hr)
energy intake (24 hr)
fat body mass
fat body mass
lean body mass
lean body mass
carbon dioxide production
respiratory exchange ratio
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Financial support for this work was provided by the NIDDK Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centers (National MMPC, RRID:SCR_008997,
) under the MICROMouse Program, grants DK076169.
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