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AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Regulation of glyceroneogenesis and its key enzyme cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK-C) plays a major role in the control of fatty acid release from adipose tissue. Here we investigate the effect of rosiglitazone on the expression of genes involved in fatty acid metabolism and the resulting metabolic consequences. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rosiglitazone was administered to Zucker fa/fa rats for 4 days and to 24 diabetic patients for 12 weeks, then mRNA expression for the genes encoding PEPCK-C, mitochondrial PEPCK, adipocyte lipid-binding protein, glycerol kinase, lipoprotein lipase and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase was examined in s.c. adipose tissue by real-time RT-PCR. Glyceroneogenesis was determined using [1-(14)C]pyruvate incorporation into lipids. Cultured adipose tissue explants from overweight women undergoing plastic surgery were incubated with rosiglitazone for various times before mRNA determination and analysis of PEPCK-C protein, activity and glyceroneogenesis. RESULTS: Rosiglitazone administration to rats induced the expression of the gene encoding PEPCK-C mRNA (PCK1) and PEPCK-C activity in adipose tissue with a resulting 2.5-fold increase in glyceroneogenesis. This was accompanied by an improvement in dyslipidaemia as demonstrated by the decrease in plasma NEFAs and triacylglycerol. In rosiglitazone-treated diabetic patients, PCK1 mRNA was raised 2.5-fold in s.c. adipose tissue. Rosiglitazone treatment of adipose tissue explants from overweight women caused a selective augmentation in PCK1 mRNA which reached a maximum of 9-fold at 14 h, while mRNA for other genes remained unaffected. Experiments with inhibitors showed a direct and transcription-only effect, which was followed by an increase in PEPCK-C protein, enzyme activity and glyceroneogenesis. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: These results favour adipocyte glyceroneogenesis as the initial thiazolidinedione-responsive pathway leading to improvement in dyslipidaemia.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





666 - 675


Adipose Tissue, Animals, Cytosol, DNA Primers, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Fatty Acids, Nonesterified, Gene Expression Regulation, Glycerol, Hypoglycemic Agents, Male, Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase (ATP), Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase (GTP), Rats, Rats, Zucker, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Thiazolidinediones