White Adipose Tissue Response of Obese Mice to Ambient Oxygen Restriction at Thermoneutrality: Response Markers Identified, but no WAT Inflammation

Genes (Basel). 2019 May 10;10(5):359. doi: 10.3390/genes10050359.


Obesity is associated with white adipose tissue (WAT) hypoxia and inflammation. We aimed to test whether mild environmental oxygen restriction (OxR, 13% O2), imposing tissue hypoxia, triggers WAT inflammation in obese mice. Thirteen weeks diet-induced obese male adult C57BL/6JOlaHsd mice housed at thermoneutrality were exposed for five days to OxR versus normoxia. WAT and blood were isolated and used for analysis of metabolites and adipokines, WAT histology and macrophage staining, and WAT transcriptomics. OxR increased circulating levels of haemoglobin and haematocrit as well as hypoxia responsive transcripts in WAT and decreased blood glucose, indicating systemic and tissue hypoxia. WAT aconitase activity was inhibited. Macrophage infiltration as marker for WAT inflammation tended to be decreased, which was supported by down regulation of inflammatory genes S100a8, Ccl8, Clec9a, Saa3, Mgst2, and Saa1. Other down regulated processes include cytoskeleton remodelling and metabolism, while response to hypoxia appeared most prominently up regulated. The adipokines coiled-coil domain containing 3 (CCDC3) and adiponectin, as well as the putative WAT hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), were reduced by OxR on transcript (Cck, Ccdc3) and/or serum protein level (adiponectin, CCDC3). Conclusively, our data demonstrate that also in obese mice OxR does not trigger WAT inflammation. However, OxR does evoke a metabolic response in WAT, with CCDC3 and adiponectin as potential markers for systemic or WAT hypoxia.

Keywords: adipokine; cholecystokinin; hypoxia; inflammation; white adipose tissue; whole genome microarray gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / genetics
  • Adipokines / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue, White / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue, White / pathology
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hypoxia / genetics*
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Temperature


  • Adipokines
  • Biomarkers
  • Lactic Acid