Adipose tissue fibrosis is associated with inflammation and insulin resistance in human obesity. In particular, visceral fat fibrosis is correlated with hyperlipidemia and ectopic fat accumulation. Myocardin-related transcription factor A (MRTFA) is an important coactivator that mediates the transcription of extracellular matrix and other fibrogenic genes. Here, we examine the role of MRTFA in the development of adipose tissue fibrosis and identify a signaling pathway that regulates the fate of vascular progenitors. We demonstrate that obesity induces the formation of Sca1-, Sma+, ITGA5+ fibrogenic progenitor cells (FPCs) in adipose tissue. MRTFA deficiency in mice shifts the fate of perivascular progenitors from FPCs to adipocyte precursor cells and protects against chronic obesity-induced fibrosis and accompanying metabolic dysfunction, without a shift in energy expenditure. Our findings highlight the ITGA5-MRTFA pathway as a potential target to ameliorate obesity-associated metabolic disease.
Keywords: adipose tissue fibrosis; integrin; myocardin-related transcription factor; progenitors.
Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.