Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-β/-δ (PPAR-β/-δ) ameliorates insulin signaling and reduces SOCS3 levels by inhibiting STAT3 in interleukin-6-stimulated adipocytes

Diabetes. 2011 Jul;60(7):1990-9. doi: 10.2337/db10-0704. Epub 2011 May 26.


Objective: It has been suggested that interleukin (IL)-6 is one of the mediators linking obesity-derived chronic inflammation with insulin resistance through activation of STAT3, with subsequent upregulation of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3). We evaluated whether peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-β/-δ prevented activation of the IL-6-STAT3-SOCS3 pathway and insulin resistance in adipocytes.

Research design and methods: Adipocytes and white adipose tissue from wild-type and PPAR-β/-δ-null mice were used to evaluate the effect of PPAR-β/-δ on the IL-6-STAT3-SOCS3 pathway.

Results: First, we observed that the PPAR-β/-δ agonist GW501516 prevented both IL-6-dependent reduction in insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation and glucose uptake in adipocytes. In addition, this drug treatment abolished IL-6-induced SOCS3 expression in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes. This effect was associated with the capacity of the drug to prevent IL-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation on Tyr(705) and Ser(727) residues in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, GW501516 prevented IL-6-dependent induction of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK)1/2, a serine-threonine-protein kinase involved in serine STAT3 phosphorylation. Furthermore, in white adipose tissue from PPAR-β/-δ-null mice, STAT3 phosphorylation (Tyr(705) and Ser(727)), STAT3 DNA-binding activity, and SOCS3 protein levels were higher than in wild-type mice. Several steps in STAT3 activation require its association with heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), which was prevented by GW501516 as revealed in immunoprecipitation studies. Consistent with this finding, the STAT3-Hsp90 association was enhanced in white adipose tissue from PPAR-β/-δ-null mice compared with wild-type mice.

Conclusions: Collectively, our findings indicate that PPAR-β/-δ activation prevents IL-6-induced STAT3 activation by inhibiting ERK1/2 and preventing the STAT3-Hsp90 association, an effect that may contribute to the prevention of cytokine-induced insulin resistance in adipocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / drug effects
  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue, White / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Insulin / physiology*
  • Interleukin-6 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • PPAR delta / deficiency
  • PPAR delta / metabolism*
  • PPAR-beta / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Rats
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins / metabolism*
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology


  • GW 501516
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-6
  • PPAR delta
  • PPAR-beta
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins
  • Thiazoles
  • cytokine inducible SH2-containing protein
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Glucose