© 2015 Visweswaran et al. With more than 1.4 billion overweight or obese adults worldwide, obesity and progression of the metabolic syndrome are major health and economic challenges. To address mechanisms of obesity, adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) are being studied to detail the molecular mechanisms involved in adipogenic differentiation. Activation of the Wnt signalling pathway has inhibited adipogenesis from precursor cells. In our study, we examined this anti-adipogenic effect in further detail stimulating Wnt with lithium chloride (LiCl) and 6-bromo indirubin 3'oxime (BIO). We also examined the effect of Wnt inhibition using secreted frizzled-related protein 4 (sFRP4), which we have previously shown to be pro-apoptotic, anti-angiogenic, and anti-tumorigenic. Wnt stimulation in LiCl and BIOtreated ADSCs resulted in a significant reduction (2.7-fold and 12-fold respectively) in lipid accumulation as measured by Oil red O staining while Wnt inhibition with sFRP4 induced a 1.5-fold increase in lipid accumulation. Furthermore, there was significant 1.2-fold increase in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR γ) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBPα), and 1.3-fold increase in acetyl CoA carboxylase protein levels. In contrast, the expression of adipogenic proteins (PPARγ, C/EBPα, and acetyl CoA carboxylase) were decreased significantly with LiCl (by 1.6, 2.6, and 1.9-fold respectively) and BIO (by 7, 17, and 5.6-fold respectively) treatments. These investigations demonstrate interplay between Wnt antagonism and Wnt activation during adipogenesis and indicate pathways for therapeutic intervention to control this process.
Visweswaran, M., Schiefer, L., Arfuso, F., Dilley, R., Newsholme, P. N., & Dharmarajan, A. (2015). Wnt antagonist secreted frizzled-related protein 4 upregulates adipogenic differentiation in human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells. PLoS One, 10(2), e0118005. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118005