Thromboxane synthase deficiency improves insulin action and attenuates adipose tissue fibrosis

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2015 May 1;308(9):E792-804. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00383.2014. Epub 2015 Mar 3.


Thromboxane A2, an arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoid generated by thromboxane synthase (TBXAS), plays critical roles in hemostasis and inflammation. However, the contribution of thromboxane A2 to obesity-linked metabolic dysfunction remains incompletely understood. Here, we used in vitro and mouse models to better define the role of TBXAS in metabolic homeostasis. We found that adipose expression of Tbxas and thromboxane A2 receptor (Tbxa2r) was significantly upregulated in genetic and dietary mouse models of obesity and diabetes. Expression of Tbxas and Tbxa2r was detected in adipose stromal cells, including macrophages. Furthermore, stimulation of macrophages with interferon-γ or resistin factors known to be upregulated in obesity induced Tbxas and Tbxa2r expression. Mice lacking Tbxas had similar weight gain, food intake, and energy expenditure. However, loss of Tbxas markedly enhanced insulin sensitivity in mice fed a low-fat diet. Improvement in glucose homeostasis was correlated with the upregulated expression of multiple secreted metabolic regulators (Ctrp3, Ctrp9, and Ctrp12) in the visceral fat depot. Following a challenge with a high-fat diet, Tbxas deficiency led to attenuated adipose tissue fibrosis and reduced circulating IL-6 levels without adipose tissue macrophages being affected; however, these changes were not sufficient to improve whole body insulin action. Together, our results highlight a novel, diet-dependent role for thromboxane A2 in modulating peripheral tissue insulin sensitivity and adipose tissue fibrosis.

Keywords: C1q/tumor necrosis factor-related protein; adipose tissue; diabetes; eicosanoid; fibrosis; obesity; thromboxane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fibrosis / genetics
  • Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Inflammation Mediators / pharmacology
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Obese
  • Receptors, Thromboxane A2, Prostaglandin H2 / genetics
  • Receptors, Thromboxane A2, Prostaglandin H2 / metabolism
  • Thromboxane-A Synthase / deficiency
  • Thromboxane-A Synthase / genetics*


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Insulin
  • Receptors, Thromboxane A2, Prostaglandin H2
  • Thromboxane-A Synthase