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The macrophage A2b adenosine receptor regulates tissue insulin sensitivity

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High fat diet (HFD)-induced type 2 diabetes continues to be an epidemic with significant risk for various pathologies. Previously, we identified the A2b adenosine receptor (A2bAR), an established regulator of inflammation, as a regulator of HFD-induced insulin resistance. In particular, HFD was associated with vast upregulation of liver A2bAR in control mice, and while mice lacking this receptor showed augmented liver inflammation and tissue insulin resistance. As the A2bAR is expressed in different tissues, here, we provide the first lead to cellular mechanism by demonstrating that the receptor's influence on tissue insulin sensitivity is mediated via its expression in macrophages. This was shown using a newly generated transgenic mouse model expressing the A2bAR gene in the macrophage lineage on an otherwise A2bAR null background. Reinstatement of macrophage A2bAR expression in A2bAR null mice fed HFD restored insulin tolerance and tissue insulin signaling to the level of control mice. The molecular mechanism for this effect involves A2bAR-mediated changes in cyclic adenosine monophosphate in macrophages, reducing the expression and release of inflammatory cytokines, which downregulate insulin receptor-2. Thus, our results illustrate that macrophage A2bAR signaling is needed and sufficient for relaying the protective effect of the A2bAR against HFD-induced tissue inflammation and insulin resistance in mice. © 2014 Johnston-Cox et al.




Johnston-Cox, H., Eisenstein, A. S., Koupenova, M., Carroll, S., & Ravid, K. (2014). The macrophage A2b adenosine receptor regulates tissue insulin sensitivity. PLoS ONE, 9(6).

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