Atglistatin ameliorates functional decline in heart failure via adipocyte-specific inhibition of adipose triglyceride lipase

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2018 Oct 1;315(4):H879-H884. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00308.2018. Epub 2018 Jun 22.


Despite advancements in therapies for cardiovascular disease and heart failure (HF), the incidence and prevalence of HF are increasing. Previous work has suggested that inhibiting adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) in adipose tissue during HF development may assist in the treatment of HF. The ability to specifically target the adipocyte as a potential treatment for HF is a novel approach that could significantly influence the management of HF in the future. Our objectives were to assess the cardiac structural and functional effects of pharmacological inhibition of ATGL in mice with HF, to assess whether ATGL inhibition works in an adipocyte-autonomous manner, and to determine the role that adiposity and glucose homeostasis play in this HF treatment approach. Using a known ATGL inhibitor, atglistatin, as well as mice with germline deletion of adipocyte-specific ATGL, we tested the effectiveness of ATGL inhibition in mice with pressure overload-induced HF. Here, we show that atglistatin can prevent the functional decline in HF and provide evidence that specifically targeting ATGL in the adipocyte is sufficient to prevent worsening of HF. We further demonstrate that the benefit resulting from atglistatin in HF is not dependent on previously suggested improvements in glucose homeostasis, nor are the benefits derived from increased adiposity. Overall, the results of this study suggest that adipocyte-specific pharmacological inhibition of ATGL may represent a novel therapeutic option for HF. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This work shows for the first time that the adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL)-specific inhibitor atglistatin can prevent worsening heart failure. Furthermore, using mice with adipocyte-specific ATGL ablation, this study demonstrates that ATGL inhibition works in an adipocyte-autonomous manner to ameliorate a functional decline in heart failure. Overall, this work demonstrates that specifically targeting the adipocyte to inhibit ATGL is a potential treatment for heart failure.

Keywords: adipose tissue lipolysis; adipose triglyceride lipase; heart failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / enzymology
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / enzymology
  • Heart Failure / genetics
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Lipase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Lipase / genetics
  • Lipase / metabolism
  • Lipolysis / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Phenylurea Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Ventricular Function, Left / drug effects*


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • atglistatin
  • Lipase
  • PNPLA2 protein, mouse