The role of CD1d in adipogenesis

Corina Rosales, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Atherosclerosis-associated coronary heart disease is the number one cause of death in the western society, and often triggered by metabolic disorders, such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. The CD1 molecules are a group of evolutionarily conservative transmembrane proteins that have recently emerged as novel lipid-binding and transporting molecules. The current study was aimed at illustrating the role of CD1d in regulation of lipid metabolism and adipogenesis. In stably transfected smooth muscle cells where CD1d is overexpressed via a pCMV promoter, high levels of binding of the oxysterol 7-ketocholesterol was found. Adipogenic treatment induces the cells to transdifferentiate into an adipocyte-like morphology. This adipocyte morphology of CD1d transfected SMCs strongly resembles that of the pre-adipocytes 3T3-L1 cells grown in the same adipogenic media. Adipogenic treatment of CD1d transfected 3T3-L1 cells led to an increased accumulation of lipids compared to mock transfected cells. Induction of adipogenic gene expression and activation, such as PPARγ and lipoprotein lipase (LPL), was achieved in adipogenically treated smooth muscle cells as well as 3T3-L1 cells with overexpression of CD1d. For determination of the role of CD1d in regulation of adipogenesis, a CD1d transgenic mouse strain was created using the CD1d-smooth muscle promoter construct. Compared to wild type control mice matched in age and sex, the transgenic mice show an age-dependent increase in abdominal and visceral fat tissue. Histopathological examination demonstrated marked enlargement of adipocytes in the transgenic fat tissue which otherwise remained a normal fat tissue structure. Immunohistochemical analysis of CD1d expression in the fat tissue revealed much stronger membrane CD1d immunostaining in the transgenic tissue than the wild type fat tissue. Under normal chow diets, CD1d-transgenic mice also developed fatty livers. In conclusion, CD1d serves as a regulator of lipid metabolism, which may transducer signals from oxysterols to induce expression of genes important in lipogenesis. These experimental results point to a novel mechanism by which CD1d mediates lipid metabolism in adipose tissue and contributes to the development of obesity.

Subject Area

Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Rosales, Corina, "The role of CD1d in adipogenesis" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3289984.