Butyrylcholinesterase deficiency promotes adipose tissue growth and hepatic lipid accumulation in male mice on high-fat diet

Vicky Ping Chen, Yang Gao, Liyi Geng, Michael B. Stout, Michael D. Jensen, Stephen Brimijoin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite numerous reports of relationships between weight gain and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), this enzyme's role in the genesis of obesity remains unclear, but recent research points to strong links with ghrelin, the "hunger hormone." The availability of BChE knockout (KO) mice provides an opportunity to clarify the causal relationship between BChE and obesity onset. We now find that young KO mice have abnormally high plasma ghrelin levels that slowly decline during long-term high-fat feeding and ultimately drop below those in wild-type mice. On such a diet, the KO mice gained notably more weight, more white fat, and more hepatic fat than wild-type animals. In addition to a greater burden of hepatic triglycerides, the livers of these KO mice show distinctly higher levels of inflammatory markers. Finally, their energy expenditure proved to be lower than in wild-type mice despite similar activity levels and increased caloric intake. A gene transfer of mouse BChE with adeno-associated virus vector restored nearly all aspects of the normal phenotype. Our results indicate that BChE strongly affects fat metabolism, has an important impact on fat accumulation, and may be a promising tool for combating obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3086-3095
Number of pages10
JournalEndocrinology
Volume157
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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