Human pluripotent stem cell-based models suggest preadipocyte senescence as a possible cause of metabolic complications of Werner and Bloom Syndromes

Kim Jee Goh, Jian-hua Chen, Nuno Rocha, Robert K. Semple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Werner Syndrome (WS) and Bloom Syndrome (BS) are disorders of DNA damage repair caused by biallelic disruption of the WRN or BLM DNA helicases respectively. Both are commonly associated with insulin resistant diabetes, usually accompanied by dyslipidemia and fatty liver, as seen in lipodystrophies. In keeping with this, progressive reduction of subcutaneous adipose tissue is commonly observed. To interrogate the underlying cause of adipose tissue dysfunction in these syndromes, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing was used to generate human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) lacking either functional WRN or BLM helicase. No deleterious effects were observed in WRN−/− or BLM−/− embryonic stem cells, however upon their differentiation into adipocyte precursors (AP), premature senescence emerged, impairing later stages of adipogenesis. The resulting adipocytes were also found to be senescent, with increased levels of senescent markers and senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) components. SASP components initiate and reinforce senescence in adjacent cells, which is likely to create a positive feedback loop of cellular senescence within the adipocyte precursor compartment, as demonstrated in normal ageing. Such a scenario could progressively attenuate adipose mass and function, giving rise to “lipodystrophy-like” insulin resistance. Further assessment of pharmacological senolytic strategies are warranted to mitigate this component of Werner and Bloom syndromes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7490
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2020

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