Stimulation of adipogenesis, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ), and thyrotropin receptor by PPARγ agonist in human orbital preadipocyte fibroblasts

Rosanee W. Valyasevi, Debra A. Harteneck, Charyl M. Dutton, Rebecca S. Bahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Scopus citations


The symptoms and signs of Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO) result from both an accumulation of hydrated hyaluronan in the orbital muscles and connective tissues and an expansion of the orbital adipose tissues. Recent studies have suggested a link between the stimulation of adipogenesis within the orbit in GO and the expression in these tissues of TSH receptor (TSHR), the putative orbital autoantigen. To further investigate this association, we treated orbital fibroblasts from patients with GO with rosiglitazone, a thiazolidinedione agonist of the PPARγ receptor that stimulates adipocyte differentiation. We found this compound to be a potent stimulator of functional TSHR expression as well as TSHR and PPARγ mRNA levels in differentiated cultures. In addition, rosiglitazone treatment stimulated recruitment and differentiation of a subset of cells within these cultures into mature lipid-laden adipocytes. These results suggest that TSHR expression in GO orbital preadipocyte fibroblasts is linked to adipogenesis, and that ligation of the PPARγ receptor results in differentiation of these cells. It is possible that endogenous PPARγ ligands play a role in stimulating orbital adipogenesis in GO, and that future treatments may be aimed at antagonism of various components of the PPARγ signaling system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2352-2358
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 27 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

Cite this