The Francis Crick Institute
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Environmental chemicals change extracellular lipidome of mature human white adipocytes.

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-11, 12:43 authored by Paula Burkhardt, Susana Alejandra Palma-Duran, Astrud RR Tuck, Kalle Norgren, Xinyi Li, Violetta Nikiforova, Julian L Griffin, Vesna Munic Kos
Certain environmental chemicals affect the body's energy balance and are known as metabolism disrupting chemicals (MDCs). MDCs have been implicated in the development of metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. In contrast to their well-known impact on developing adipocytes, MDC effects leading to altered energy balance and development of insulin resistance in mature white adipocytes, constituents of adult adipose tissue, are largely unclear. Here, we investigated the effects of six well-established environmental MDCs (bisphenol A (BPA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), triclosan (TCS), p,p-dichlorodiphenyl-dichloroethylene (ppDDE), tributyltin chloride (TBT) and triphenyl phosphate (TPP)) on mature human white adipocytes derived from mesenchymal stem cells in vitro. We aimed to identify biomarkers and sensitive endpoints of their metabolism disrupting effects. While most of the tested exposures had no effect on adipocyte glucose consumption, lipid storage and assessed gene expression endpoints, the highest concentration of triclosan affected the total lipid storage and adipocyte size, as well as glucose consumption and mRNA expression of the glucose transporter GLUT1, leptin and adiponectin. Additionally, an increased expression of adiponectin was observed with TPP and the positive control PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone. In contrast, the lipidomic analysis of the cell culture medium after a 3-day exposure was extremely sensitive and revealed concentration-dependent changes in the extracellular lipidome of adipocytes exposed to nearly all studied chemicals. While some of the extracellular lipidome changes were specific for the MDC used, some effects were found common to several tested chemicals and included increases in lysophosphatidylcholines, glycerophospholipids and ceramides and a decrease in fatty acids, with possible implications in inflammation, lipid and glucose uptake. This study points to early signs of metabolic disruption and likely systemic effects of mature adipocyte exposure to environmental chemicals, as well as to the need to include lipidomic endpoints in the assessment of adverse effects of MDCs.


Crick (Grant ID: CC1067, Grant title: STP Metabolomics)