Maternal obesity during pregnancy leads to adipose tissue ER stress in mice via miR-126-mediated reduction in Lunapark.

Levels of the microRNA (miRNA) miR-126-3p are programmed cell-autonomously in visceral adipose tissue of adult offspring born to obese female C57BL/6J mice. The spectrum of miR-126-3p targets and thus the consequences of its dysregulation for adipocyte metabolism are unknown. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to identify novel targets of miR-126-3p in vitro and then establish the outcomes of their dysregulation on adipocyte metabolism in vivo using a well-established maternal obesity mouse model.miR-126-3p overexpression in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes followed by pulsed stable isotope labelling by amino acids in culture (pSILAC) was performed to identify novel targets of the miRNA. Well-established bioinformatics algorithms and luciferase assays were then employed to confirm those that were direct targets of miR-126-3p. Selected knockdown experiments were performed in vitro to define the consequences of target dysregulation. Quantitative real-time PCR, immunoblotting, histology, euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamps and glucose tolerance tests were performed to determine the phenotypic and functional outcomes of maternal programmed miR-126-3p levels in offspring adipose tissue.The proteomic approach confirmed the identity of known targets of miR-126-3p (including IRS-1) and identified Lunapark, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein, as a novel one. We confirmed by luciferase assay that Lunapark was a direct target of miR-126-3p. Overexpression of miR-126-3p in vitro led to a reduction in Lunapark protein levels and increased Perk (also known as Eif2ak3) mRNA levels and small interference-RNA mediated knockdown of Lunapark led to increased Xbp1, spliced Xbp1, Chop (also known as Ddit3) and Perk mRNA levels and an ER stress transcriptional response in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes. Consistent with the results found in vitro, increased miR-126-3p expression in adipose tissue from adult mouse offspring born to obese dams was accompanied by decreased Lunapark and IRS-1 protein levels and increased markers of ER stress. At the whole-body level the animals displayed glucose intolerance.Concurrently targeting IRS-1 and Lunapark, a nutritionally programmed increase in miR-126-3p causes adipose tissue insulin resistance and an ER stress response, both of which may contribute to impaired glucose tolerance. These findings provide a novel mechanism by which obesity during pregnancy leads to increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the offspring and therefore identify miR-126-3p as a potential therapeutic target.

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