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Obesity is a major risk factor for metabolic disease, with white adipose tissue (WAT) inflammation emerging as a key underlying pathology. We detail that mice lacking Reverbα exhibit enhanced fat storage without the predicted increased WAT inflammation or loss of insulin sensitivity. In contrast to most animal models of obesity and obese human patients, Reverbα(-/-) mice exhibit elevated serum adiponectin levels and increased adiponectin secretion from WAT explants in vitro, highlighting a potential anti-inflammatory role of this adipokine in hypertrophic WAT. Indeed, adiponectin was found to suppress primary macrophage responses to lipopolysaccharide and proinflammatory fatty acids, and this suppression depended on glycogen synthase kinase 3β activation and induction of A20. Attenuated inflammatory responses in Reverbα(-/-) WAT depots were associated with tonic elevation of A20 protein and ex vivo shown to depend on A20. We also demonstrate that adipose A20 expression in obese human subjects exhibits a negative correlation with measures of insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, bariatric surgery-induced weight loss was accompanied by enhanced WAT A20 expression, which is positively correlated with increased serum adiponectin and improved metabolic and inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein. The findings identify A20 as a mediator of adiponectin anti-inflammatory action in WAT and a potential target for mitigating obesity-related pathology.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





128 - 136


Adiponectin, Adipose Tissue, White, Animals, Cells, Cultured, Cysteine Endopeptidases, DNA-Binding Proteins, Diet, High-Fat, Energy Metabolism, Female, Gene Expression, Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3, Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta, Humans, Insulin Resistance, Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Macrophages, Male, Mice, Knockout, Nuclear Proteins, Obesity, Panniculitis, RNA, Small Interfering, Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha-Induced Protein 3