Prolactin receptor signaling is essential for perinatal brown adipocyte function: a role for insulin-like growth factor-2.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: The lactogenic hormones prolactin (PRL) and placental lactogens (PL) play central roles in reproduction and mammary development. Their actions are mediated via binding to PRL receptor (PRLR), highly expressed in brown adipose tissue (BAT), yet their impact on adipocyte function and metabolism remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: PRLR knockout (KO) newborn mice were phenotypically characterized in terms of thermoregulation and their BAT differentiation assayed for gene expression studies. Derived brown preadipocyte cell lines were established to evaluate the molecular mechanisms involved in PRL signaling on BAT function. Here, we report that newborn mice lacking PRLR have hypotrophic BAT depots that express low levels of adipocyte nuclear receptor PPARgamma2, its coactivator PGC-1alpha, uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and the beta3 adrenoceptor, reducing mouse viability during cold challenge. Immortalized PRLR KO preadipocytes fail to undergo differentiation into mature adipocytes, a defect reversed by reintroduction of PRLR. That the effects of the lactogens in BAT are at least partly mediated by Insulin-like Growth Factor-2 (IGF-2) is supported by: i) a striking reduction in BAT IGF-2 expression in PRLR KO mice and in PRLR-deficient preadipocytes; ii) induction of cellular IGF-2 expression by PRL through JAK2/STAT5 pathway activation; and iii) reversal of defective differentiation in PRLR KO cells by exogenous IGF-2. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that the lactogens act in concert with IGF-2 to control brown adipocyte differentiation and growth. Given the prominent role of brown adipose tissue during the perinatal period, our results identified prolactin receptor signaling as a major player and a potential therapeutic target in protecting newborn mammals against hypothermia.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Viengchareun, S; Servel, N; Fève, B; Freemark, M; Lombès, M; Binart, N

Published Date

  • February 6, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 / 2

Start / End Page

  • e1535 -

PubMed ID

  • 18253483

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2212135

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0001535


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States