A minor role for lipocalin 2 in high-fat diet-induced glucose intolerance

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Nov;301(5):E825-35. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00147.2011. Epub 2011 Jul 19.


Adipose tissue controls energy homeostasis and systemic insulin sensitivity through the elaboration of a series of cytokines and hormones, collectively termed "adipokines." We and others have identified Lcn2 as a novel adipokine, but its exact role in obesity-induced insulin resistance remains controversial. The aim of this study was to examine the metabolic phenotype of Lcn2(-/-) mice to clarify the role of Lcn2 in metabolism. Male and female Lcn2(-/-) and wild-type (WT) littermates were placed on either chow or high-fat diet (HFD) to characterize their metabolic phenotype. Studies included body weight and body composition, glucose and insulin tolerance tests, and adipokine expression studies in serum and in white adipose tissue (WAT). Neither chow nor HFD cohorts showed any differences in body weight or body composition. Chow-fed Lcn2(-/-) mice did not exhibit any difference in glucose homeostasis compared with WT mice. Fasting serum glucose levels were lower in the chow-fed Lcn2(-/-) mice, but this finding was not seen in the HFD cohort. Serum adiponectin, leptin, resistin, and RBP4 levels were not different between WT and Lcn2(-/-) on chow diet. HFD-fed male Lcn2(-/-) mice did display a small improvement in glucose tolerance, but no difference in insulin sensitivity was seen in either male or female Lcn2(-/-) mice on HFD. We conclude that the global ablation of Lcn2 has a minimal effect on obesity-associated glucose intolerance but does not appear to affect either age- or obesity-mediated insulin resistance in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins / genetics
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / metabolism
  • Acute-Phase Proteins / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Body Composition / genetics
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Weight / genetics
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Diet, High-Fat*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose Intolerance / complications
  • Glucose Intolerance / etiology*
  • Glucose Intolerance / genetics
  • Glucose Intolerance / metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins / genetics
  • Lipocalins / metabolism
  • Lipocalins / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Obese
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Phenotype


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • Lcn2 protein, mouse
  • Glucose