Edinburgh Research Explorer

Deletion of the Androgen Receptor in Adipose Tissue in Male Mice Elevates Retinol Binding Protein 4 and Reveals Independent Effects on Visceral Fat Mass and on Glucose Homeostasis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Open Access permissions



  • Download as Adobe PDF

    Rights statement: © 2012 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

    Final published version, 1.57 MB, PDF document

    Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1072-1081
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


Testosterone deficiency is epidemic in obese ageing males with type 2 diabetes, but the direction of causality remains unclear. Testosterone-deficient males and global androgen receptor (AR) knockout mice are insulin resistant with increased fat, but it is unclear whether AR signaling in adipose tissue mediates body fat redistribution and alters glucose homoeostasis. To investigate this, mice with selective knockdown of AR in adipocytes (fARKO) were generated. Male fARKO mice on normal diet had reduced perigonadal fat but were hyperinsulinemic and by age 12 months, were insulin deficient in the absence of obesity. On high-fat diet, fARKO mice had impaired compensatory insulin secretion and hyperglycemia, with increased susceptibility to visceral obesity. Adipokine screening in fARKO mice revealed a selective increase in plasma and intra-adipose retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) that preceded obesity. AR activation in murine 3T3 adipocytes downregulated RBP4 mRNA. We conclude that AR signaling in adipocytes not only protects against high-fat diet-induced visceral obesity but also regulates insulin action and glucose homeostasis, independently of adiposity. Androgen deficiency in adipocytes in mice resembles human type 2 diabetes, with early insulin resistance and evolving insulin deficiency.

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 3113412