2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid is one of the most widely used herbicides. Its impact on health is increasingly attracting great attentions. This study aimed to investigate the effect of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid on glucose metabolism in HepG2 cells and the underlying mechanism. After 24 h exposure to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, glycogen was measured by PAS staining and glucose by ELISA in HepG2 cells. The expression of genes involved in glucose metabolism was measured by real-time PCR, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence. HepG2 cells presented more extracellular glucose consumption and glycogen content after exposed to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Expression of gluconeogenesis-related genes, FoxO1, and CREB is significantly elevated. Moreover, PPARβ was up-regulated dose-dependently. SiRNA knockdown of PPARβ completely rescued the increase of glycogen accumulation and glucose uptake, and the up-regulation of FOXO1 and CREB expression. Our findings propose novel mechanisms that 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid causes glucose metabolism dysfunction through PPARβ in HepG2 cells.
Keywords: 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid; Glucose metabolism; Hepatocyte; Herbicides; PPARβ.