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Regulation of adipocyte autophagy — The potential anti-obesity mechanism of high density lipoprotein and ApolipoproteinA-I

Shuai Wang and Daoquan Peng*

Author Affiliations

Department of Cardiology, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, 139 Middle Ren-Min Rd., Changsha, Hunan, 410011, China

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2012, 11:131  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-11-131

Published: 6 October 2012


Obesity is reaching epidemic worldwide and is risk factor for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Although plasma high density lipoprotein (HDL) and apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) are inversely correlated to obesity, whether HDLs have anti-obesity effect remains unclear until a recent study reporting the direct anti-obesity effect of apoA-I and its mimetic peptide. However, the mechanism is not fully understood. Increasing adipose energy expenditure through attainment of brown adipocyte phenotype in white adipose tissue is considered a potential strategy to combat obesity. Specific inhibition of autophagy in adipose tissue is associated with reduced adiposity which is attributed to the attainment of brown adipocyte phenotype in white adipose tissue and the increased energy expenditure. HDL and apoA-I could activate PI3K-Akt-mTORC1 signaling which negatively regulates autophagy. The links between HDL/apoA-I and autophagy brings a new understanding on the anti-obesity effect of HDL and apoA-I.

HDL/apoA-I; Obesity; Autophagy; Adipocyte