DPP4 deletion in adipose tissue improves hepatic insulin sensitivity in diet-induced obesity

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2020 May 1;318(5):E590-E599. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00323.2019. Epub 2019 Dec 31.


Besides a therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) is an adipokine potentially upregulated in human obesity. We aimed to explore the role of adipocyte-derived DPP4 in diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance with an adipose tissue-specific knockout (AT-DPP4-KO) mouse. Wild-type and AT-DPP4-KO mice were fed for 24 wk with a high fat diet (HFD) and characterized for body weight, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity by hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, and body composition and hepatic fat content. Image and molecular biology analysis of inflammation, as well as adipokine secretion, was performed in AT by immunohistochemistry, Western blot, real-time-PCR, and ELISA. Incretin levels were determined by Luminex kits. Under HFD, AT-DPP4-KO displayed markedly reduced circulating DPP4 concentrations, proving AT as a relevant source. Independently of glucose-stimulated incretin hormones, AT-DPP4-KO had improved glucose tolerance and hepatic insulin sensitivity. AT-DPP4-KO displayed smaller adipocytes and increased anti-inflammatory markers. IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) levels were lower in AT and serum, whereas free IGF1 was increased. The absence of adipose DPP4 triggers beneficial AT remodeling with decreased production of IGFBP3 during HFD, likely contributing to the observed, improved hepatic insulin sensitivity.

Keywords: adipokines; cross-talk; diet-induced obesity; dipeptidyl peptidase-4; hepatic insulin resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipokines / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 / genetics
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism*


  • Adipokines
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4
  • Dpp4 protein, mouse

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.11306855.v1