Gene expression changes in subcutaneous adipose tissue due to Cushing's disease.

Irit Hochberg, Innocence Harvey, Quynh Tran, Erin Stephenson, Ariel Barkan, Alan Saltiel, William Chandler and

Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 2015. 55: 81-94.


Glucocorticoids have major effects on adipose tissue metabolism. To study tissue mRNA expression changes induced by chronic elevated endogenous glucocorticoids, we performed RNA sequencing on subcutaneous adipose tissue from patients with Cushing's disease (n=5) compared to patients with non-functioning pituitary adenomas (n=11). We found higher expression of transcripts involved in several metabolic pathways, including lipogenesis, proteolysis and glucose oxidation as well as decreased expression of transcripts involved in inflammation and protein synthesis. To further study this in a model system, we subjected mice to dexamethasone treatment for 12 weeks and analyzed their inguinal (subcutaneous) fat pads, which led to similar findings. Additionally, mice treated with dexamethasone showed drastic decreases in lean body mass as well as increased fat mass, further supporting the human transcriptomic data. These data provide insight to transcriptional changes that may be responsible for the co-morbidities associated with chronic elevations of glucocorticoids.

Posts about this paper


comments powered by Disqus

Share This Paper