It has been suggested that interleukin-6 (IL-6) produced by adipocytes in obesity leads to liver insulin resistance, although this hypothesis has never been definitively tested. Accordingly, we did so by generating adipocyte-specific IL-6-deficient (AdipoIL-6-/-) mice and studying them in the context of diet-induced and genetic obesity. Mice carrying two floxed alleles of IL-6 (C57Bl/6J) were crossed with Cre recombinase-overexpressing mice driven by the adiponectin promoter to generate AdipoIL-6-/- mice. AdipoIL-6-/- and floxed littermate controls were fed a standard chow or high-fat diet (HFD) for 16 wk and comprehensively metabolically phenotyped. In addition to a diet-induced obesity model, we also examined the role of adipocyte-derived IL-6 in a genetic model of obesity and insulin resistance by crossing the AdipoIL-6-/- mice with leptin-deficient (ob/ob) mice. As expected, mice on HFD and ob/ob mice displayed marked weight gain and increased fat mass compared with chow-fed and ob/+ (littermate control) animals, respectively. However, deletion of IL-6 from adipocytes in either model had no effect on glucose tolerance or fasting hyperinsulinemia. We concluded that adipocyte-specific IL-6 does not contribute to whole body glucose intolerance in obese mice.
Keywords: IL-6; adiposity; floxed; glucose tolerance; obesity.