Cao, H, et al., Identification of a Lipokine, a Lipid Hormone Linking Adipose Tissue to Systemic Metabolism. Cell, 2008. 134(6): 933-44.


Metabolon(Lipomics) results led to:

  • Identification of therapeutic targets

Key metabolomicobservations:

  • Dietary input is a predominant feature of fatty acid composition
  • Adipose tissue regulates metabolic activities of distant organs
  • Palmitoleateis a major signaling molecule

Dysregulationof lipid metabolism is a critical contributor to a mechanistic link between obesity and related metabolic diseases such as diabetes, fatty liver disease and atherosclerosis. In order to explore the link between adipose biology and whole body metabolism through lipids, investigators performed lipidomicanalysis on mice with altered lipid chaperones. The analysis elucidated that adipose tissue influences the specific composition of local and circulating free fatty acids and impacts metabolic outcomes. Further, a specific lipid hormone or lipokine, palmitoleate(an indicator of de novo fatty acid synthesis rather than dietary input) was identified to link adipose tissue to systemic metabolism. In essence, an increase in dietary fat suppresses palmitoleateproduction, depressing insulin sensitivity. Therefore, palmitoleateis an attractive target for novel therapeutic approaches to metabolic diseases.

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