TNFα is known to inhibit adipocyte differentiation and induce insulin resistance. Moreover, TNFα is known to down-regulate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ2, an adipocyte-specific nuclear receptor of insulin-sensitizer thiazolidinediones. To clarify molecular mechanisms of TNFα-mediated PPARγ2 down-regulation, we here examined the effect of TNFα on transcription regulation of PPARγ2 gene expression during the early stage of adipocyte differentiation. 3T3-L1 preadipocytes (2 d after 100% confluent) were incubated in a differentiation mixture (dexamethasone, insulin, 3-isobutyl-1-methlxanthine), with or without 50 ng/ml TNFα, for 24 h. TNFα significantly decreased PPARγ2 expression both at mRNA and protein levels (to ∼40%), as well as aP2 mRNA expression. The mouse PPARγ2 gene promoter region (2.2-kb) was isolated and was used for luciferase reporter assays by transient transfection. TNFα significantly suppressed PPARγ2 gene transcription (to ∼50%), and deletion analyses demonstrated that the suppression was mediated via CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) binding elements at the -320/-340 region of the promoter. Moreover, TNFα significantly decreased expression of C/EBPδ mRNA and protein levels (to ∼40%). EMSA, using 3T3-L1 cells nuclear extracts with the -320/-340 region as a probe, demonstrated the binding of C/EBPδ to the element, which was significantly decreased by TNFα treatment. Overexpression of CEBP/δ prevented the TNFα-mediated suppression of PPARγ2 transactivation. Taken together, TNFα suppresses PPARγ2 gene transcription by the inhibition of C/EBPδ expression and its DNA binding during the early stage of adipocyte differentiation, which may contribute to the inhibition of adipocyte differentiation, as well as the induction of insulin resistance.
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