Uric acid secretion from adipose tissue and its increase in obesity

J Biol Chem. 2013 Sep 20;288(38):27138-27149. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.485094. Epub 2013 Aug 2.


Obesity is often accompanied by hyperuricemia. However, purine metabolism in various tissues, especially regarding uric acid production, has not been fully elucidated. Here we report, using mouse models, that adipose tissue could produce and secrete uric acid through xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR) and that the production was enhanced in obesity. Plasma uric acid was elevated in obese mice and attenuated by administration of the XOR inhibitor febuxostat. Adipose tissue was one of major organs that had abundant expression and activities of XOR, and adipose tissues in obese mice had higher XOR activities than those in control mice. 3T3-L1 and mouse primary mature adipocytes produced and secreted uric acid into culture medium. The secretion was inhibited by febuxostat in a dose-dependent manner or by gene knockdown of XOR. Surgical ischemia in adipose tissue increased local uric acid production and secretion via XOR, with a subsequent increase in circulating uric acid levels. Uric acid secretion from whole adipose tissue was increased in obese mice, and uric acid secretion from 3T3-L1 adipocytes was increased under hypoxia. Our results suggest that purine catabolism in adipose tissue could be enhanced in obesity.

Keywords: Adipocyte; Adipose Tissue Metabolism; Metabolic Diseases; Obesity; Uric Acid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Obese
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Uric Acid / metabolism*
  • Xanthine Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Xanthine Dehydrogenase / metabolism*


  • Uric Acid
  • Xanthine Dehydrogenase