Diacylglycerol kinase α deficiency alters inflammation markers in adipose tissue in response to a high-fat diet

J Lipid Res. 2018 Feb;59(2):273-282. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M079517. Epub 2017 Dec 12.


Conversion of diacylglycerol to phosphatidic acid is mediated by diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs), with DGKα specifically linked to adaptive immune responses. We determined the role of DGKα in obesity and inflammatory responses to a high-fat diet (HFD). DGKα KO and WT littermates were either a) chow-fed, b) HFD-fed for 12 weeks (Long-Term HFD), or c) HFD-fed for 3 days (Acute HFD). Body weight/composition, oxygen consumption, food intake, and glucose tolerance was unaltered between chow-fed DGKα KO and WT mice. Insulin concentration during the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance (IPGT) test was elevated in chow-fed DGKα KO mice, suggesting mild insulin resistance. Insulin concentration during the IPGT test was reduced in Long-Term HFD-fed DGKα KO mice, suggesting a mild enhancement in insulin sensitivity. Acute HFD increased hormone sensitive lipase protein abundance and altered expression of interleukin 1β mRNA, an inflammatory marker in perigonadal adipose tissue of DGKα KO mice. In conclusion, DGKα ablation is associated with mild alterations in insulin sensitivity. However, DGKα is dispensable for whole body insulin-mediated glucose uptake, hepatic glucose production, and energy homeostasis. Our results suggest DGKα aids in modulating the early immune response of adipose tissue following an acute exposure to HFD, possibly through modulation of acute T-cell action.

Keywords: cytokines; glucose; insulin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase / deficiency*
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout


  • Biomarkers
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase
  • Glucose