PPAR (peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor) gamma is expressed in brown and white adipose tissues and is involved in the control of differentiation and proliferation. Noradrenaline stimulates brown pre-adipocyte proliferation and brown adipocyte differentiation. The aim of the present study was thus to investigate the influence of noradrenaline on PPARgamma gene expression in brown adipocytes. In primary cultures of brown adipocytes, PPARgamma2 mRNA levels were 20-fold higher than PPARgamma1 mRNA levels. PPARgamma expression occurred during both the proliferation and the differentiation phases, with the highest mRNA levels being found at the time of transition between the phases. PPARgamma2 mRNA levels were downregulated by noradrenaline treatment (EC50, 0.1 microM) in both proliferative and differentiating cells, with a lagtime of 1 h and lasting up to 4 h, after which expression gradually recovered. The down-regulation was beta-adrenoceptor-induced and intracellularly mediated via cAMP and protein kinase A; the signalling pathway did not involve phosphoinositide 3-kinase, Src, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase or extracellular-signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2. Treatment of the cells with the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide not only abolished the noradrenaline-induced down-regulation of PPARgamma2 mRNA, but also in itself induced PPARgamma2 hyperexpression. The down-regulation was probably the result of suppression of transcription. The down-regulation of PPARgamma2 mRNA resulted in similar down-regulation of PPARgamma2 and phosphoPPARgamma2 protein levels. Remarkably, the level of PPARgamma1 protein was similar to that of PPARgamma2 (despite almost no PPARgamma1 mRNA), and the down-regulation by noradrenaline demonstrated similar kinetics to that of PPARgamma2; thus PPARgamma1 was apparently translated from the PPARgamma2 template. It is suggested that beta-adrenergic stimulation via cAMP and protein kinase A represses PPARgamma gene expression, leading to reduction of PPARgamma2 mRNA levels, which is then reflected in down-regulated levels of PPARgamma2, phosphoPPARgamma2 and PPARgamma1.
Biochemical Journal, 2004, Vol 382, Issue Pt 2, p. 597-606