Publications by authors named "Patrik Stefanicka"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Lysosomal lipoprotein processing in endothelial cells stimulates adipose tissue thermogenic adaptation.

Cell Metab 2021 Mar 22;33(3):547-564.e7. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address:

In response to cold exposure, thermogenic adipocytes internalize large amounts of fatty acids after lipoprotein lipase-mediated hydrolysis of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRL) in the capillary lumen of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT). Here, we show that in cold-exposed mice, vascular endothelial cells in adipose tissues endocytose substantial amounts of entire TRL particles. These lipoproteins subsequently follow the endosomal-lysosomal pathway, where they undergo lysosomal acid lipase (LAL)-mediated processing. Endothelial cell-specific LAL deficiency results in impaired thermogenic capacity as a consequence of reduced recruitment of brown and brite/beige adipocytes. Mechanistically, TRL processing by LAL induces proliferation of endothelial cells and adipocyte precursors via beta-oxidation-dependent production of reactive oxygen species, which in turn stimulates hypoxia-inducible factor-1α-dependent proliferative responses. In conclusion, this study demonstrates a physiological role for TRL particle uptake into BAT and WAT and establishes endothelial lipoprotein processing as an important determinant of adipose tissue remodeling during thermogenic adaptation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2020.12.001DOI Listing
March 2021

snRNA-seq reveals a subpopulation of adipocytes that regulates thermogenesis.

Nature 2020 11 28;587(7832):98-102. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich, Schwerzenbach, Switzerland.

Adipose tissue is usually classified on the basis of its function as white, brown or beige (brite). It is an important regulator of systemic metabolism, as shown by the fact that dysfunctional adipose tissue in obesity leads to a variety of secondary metabolic complications. In addition, adipose tissue functions as a signalling hub that regulates systemic metabolism through paracrine and endocrine signals. Here we use single-nucleus RNA-sequencing (snRNA-seq) analysis in mice and humans to characterize adipocyte heterogeneity. We identify a rare subpopulation of adipocytes in mice that increases in abundance at higher temperatures, and we show that this subpopulation regulates the activity of neighbouring adipocytes through acetate-mediated modulation of their thermogenic capacity. Human adipose tissue contains higher numbers of cells of this subpopulation, which could explain the lower thermogenic activity of human compared to mouse adipose tissue and suggests that targeting this pathway could be used to restore thermogenic activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2856-xDOI Listing
November 2020

Cold Exposure Distinctively Modulates Parathyroid and Thyroid Hormones in Cold-Acclimatized and Non-Acclimatized Humans.

Endocrinology 2020 07;161(7)

Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Cold-induced activation of thermogenesis modulates energy metabolism, but the role of humoral mediators is not completely understood. We aimed to investigate the role of parathyroid and thyroid hormones in acute and adaptive response to cold in humans. Examinations were performed before/after 15 minutes of ice-water swimming (n = 15) or 120 to 150 minutes of cold-induced nonshivering thermogenesis (NST) applied to cold-acclimatized (n = 6) or non-acclimatized (n = 11) individuals. Deep-neck brown adipose tissue (BAT) was collected from non-acclimatized patients undergoing elective neck surgery (n = 36). Seasonal variations in metabolic/hormonal parameters of ice-water swimmers were evaluated. We found that in ice-water swimmers, PTH and TSH increased and free T3, T4 decreased after a 15-minute winter swim, whereas NST-inducing cold exposure failed to regulate PTH and free T4 and lowered TSH and free T3. Ice-water swimming-induced increase in PTH correlated negatively with systemic calcium and positively with phosphorus. In non-acclimatized men, NST-inducing cold decreased PTH and TSH. Positive correlation between systemic levels of PTH and whole-body metabolic preference for lipids as well as BAT volume was found across the 2 populations. Moreover, NST-cooling protocol-induced changes in metabolic preference for lipids correlated positively with changes in PTH. Finally, variability in circulating PTH correlated positively with UCP1/UCP1, PPARGC1A, and DIO2 in BAT from neck surgery patients. Our data suggest that regulation of PTH and thyroid hormones during cold exposure in humans varies by cold acclimatization level and/or cold stimulus intensity. Possible role of PTH in NST is indicated by its positive relationships with whole-body metabolic preference for lipids, BAT volume, and UCP1 content.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/endocr/bqaa051DOI Listing
July 2020

Dietary phytochemicals as the potential protectors against carcinogenesis and their role in cancer chemoprevention.

Clin Exp Med 2020 May 3;20(2):173-190. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Department of Medical Biology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, Mala Hora 4, Martin, 036 01, Slovakia.

Health-threatening consequences of carcinogen exposure are mediated via occurrence of electrophiles or reactive oxygen species. As a result, the accumulation of biomolecular damage leads to the cancer initiation, promotion or progression. Accordingly, there is an association between lifestyle factors including inappropriate diet or carcinogen formation during food processing, mainstream, second or third-hand tobacco smoke and other environmental or occupational carcinogens and malignant transformation. Nevertheless, increasing evidence supports the protective effects of naturally occurring phytochemicals against carcinogen exposure as well as carcinogenesis in general. Isolated phytochemicals or their mixtures present in the whole plant food demonstrate efficacy against malignancy induced by carcinogens widely spread in our environment. Phytochemicals also minimize the generation of carcinogenic substances during the processing of meat and meat products. Based on numerous data, selected phytochemicals or plant foods should be highly recommended to become a stable and regular part of the diet as the protectors against carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10238-020-00611-wDOI Listing
May 2020

Retinal photoreceptor apoptosis is associated with impaired serum ionized calcium homeostasis in diabetic retinopathy: An in-vivo analysis.

J Diabetes Complications 2019 03 8;33(3):208-211. Epub 2018 Dec 8.

Department of Internal Medicine, Brothers of Mercy Hospital, Brno, Czech Republic; 2nd Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, St. Anne's University Hospital, Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Purpose: The aim of this work was to study the association of serum ionized calcium with retinal photoreceptor apoptosis on spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in diabetic retinopathy (DR).

Methods: Sixty consecutive cases with Type 2 diabetes mellitus were categorized into three groups: no diabetic retinopathy; non-proliferative DR; proliferative DR. The eye with more severe form of the disease was considered. Twenty healthy controls were also included. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was measured on logMAR scale. Retinal photoreceptor apoptosis was defined as disruption of retinal photoreceptor ellipsoid zone (EZ). Ellipsoid zone disruption was assessed using SD-OCT. Serum levels of total and ionized calcium were measured using standard protocol.

Results: EZ disruption was found to be positively associated with serum total calcium and ionized calcium. Also, EZ disruption was found to be positively associated with logMAR BCVA.

Conclusion: Increased serum ionized calcium induces retinal photoreceptor apoptosis resulting in increased EZ disruption in DR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2018.12.003DOI Listing
March 2019

Inhibition of Mevalonate Pathway Prevents Adipocyte Browning in Mice and Men by Affecting Protein Prenylation.

Cell Metab 2019 04 20;29(4):901-916.e8. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health, ETH Zürich, Schorenstrasse 16, Schwerzenbach 8603, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Recent research focusing on brown adipose tissue (BAT) function emphasizes its importance in systemic metabolic homeostasis. We show here that genetic and pharmacological inhibition of the mevalonate pathway leads to reduced human and mouse brown adipocyte function in vitro and impaired adipose tissue browning in vivo. A retrospective analysis of a large patient cohort suggests an inverse correlation between statin use and active BAT in humans, while we show in a prospective clinical trial that fluvastatin reduces thermogenic gene expression in human BAT. We identify geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate as the key mevalonate pathway intermediate driving adipocyte browning in vitro and in vivo, whose effects are mediated by geranylgeranyltransferases (GGTases), enzymes catalyzing geranylgeranylation of small GTP-binding proteins, thereby regulating YAP1/TAZ signaling through F-actin modulation. Conversely, adipocyte-specific ablation of GGTase I leads to impaired adipocyte browning, reduced energy expenditure, and glucose intolerance under obesogenic conditions, highlighting the importance of this pathway in modulating brown adipocyte functionality and systemic metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2018.11.017DOI Listing
April 2019

BATLAS: Deconvoluting Brown Adipose Tissue.

Cell Rep 2018 10;25(3):784-797.e4

Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich, Schwerzenbach, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Recruitment and activation of thermogenic adipocytes have received increasing attention as a strategy to improve systemic metabolic control. The analysis of brown and brite adipocytes is complicated by the complexity of adipose tissue biopsies. Here, we provide an in-depth analysis of pure brown, brite, and white adipocyte transcriptomes. By combining mouse and human transcriptome data, we identify a gene signature that can classify brown and white adipocytes in mice and men. Using a machine-learning-based cell deconvolution approach, we develop an algorithm proficient in calculating the brown adipocyte content in complex human and mouse biopsies. Applying this algorithm, we can show in a human weight loss study that brown adipose tissue (BAT) content is associated with energy expenditure and the propensity to lose weight. This online available tool can be used for in-depth characterization of complex adipose tissue samples and may support the development of therapeutic strategies to increase energy expenditure in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2018.09.044DOI Listing
October 2018

Chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer: An update.

Biomed Pharmacother 2018 May 22;101:458-477. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar, Qatar Foundation-Education City, Doha, Qatar. Electronic address:

Breast cancer is the second greatest cause of death among women worldwide; it comprises a group of heterogeneous diseases that evolves due to uncontrolled cellular growth and differentiation and the loss of normal programmed cell death. There are different molecular sub-types of breast cancer; therefore, various options are selected for treatment of different forms of metastatic breast cancer. However, the use of chemotherapeutic drugs is usually accompanied by deleterious side effects and the development of drug resistance when applied for a longer period. This review offers a classification of these chemotherapeutic agents according to their modes of action and therefore improves the understanding of molecular targets that are affected during treatment. Overall, it will allow the clinician to identify more specific targets to increase the effectiveness of a drug and to reduce general toxicity, resistance and other side effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2018.02.108DOI Listing
May 2018

Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor Gamma Controls Mature Brown Adipocyte Inducibility through Glycerol Kinase.

Cell Rep 2018 01;22(3):760-773

Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich, Schorenstrasse 16, 8603 Schwerzenbach, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) have been suggested as the master regulators of adipose tissue formation. However, their role in regulating brown fat functionality has not been resolved. To address this question, we generated mice with inducible brown fat-specific deletions of PPARα, β/δ, and γ, respectively. We found that both PPARα and β/δδ are dispensable for brown fat function. In contrast, we could show that ablation of PPARγ in vitro and in vivo led to a reduced thermogenic capacity accompanied by a loss of inducibility by β-adrenergic signaling, as well as a shift from oxidative fatty acid metabolism to glucose utilization. We identified glycerol kinase (Gyk) as a partial mediator of PPARγ function and could show that Gyk expression correlates with brown fat thermogenic capacity in human brown fat biopsies. Thus, Gyk might constitute the link between PPARγ-mediated regulation of brown fat function and activation by β-adrenergic signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2017.12.067DOI Listing
January 2018

Are plant-based functional foods better choice against cancer than single phytochemicals? A critical review of current breast cancer research.

Biomed Pharmacother 2017 Dec 1;96:1465-1477. Epub 2017 Dec 1.

Department of Chemical Drugs, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women worldwide. Over 90% of all breast cancer cases are of different 'sporadic' cell types, thus placing emphasis on the need for breast cancer prevention and new effective treatment strategies. In recent years, pre-clinical research provides growing evidence regarding the beneficial action of bioactive plant-derived substances - phytochemicals, on multiple cancer-related biological pathways. The important natural source of various phytochemicals with anti-oncogenic properties are plant-based functional foods. It is hypothesized that a significant anti-tumour activity of plant-based functional foods are the result of a combination of various phytochemicals rather than an isolated agent. The mixture of phytochemicals with various biological activities present in whole foods could have additive or synergistic effects against carcinogenesis. Clinically, it is very important to compare the effect of the isolated phytochemicals against the mixture of phytochemicals present in specific plant-based functional foods. Therefore, the purpose of this review article is to compare anticancer activities of isolated phytochemicals and plant-based functional foods for the prevention and therapy of breast carcinoma. Our conclusion supports the hypothesis that a mixture of wide range of phytochemicals with a plethora of biological activities present in whole plant-derived foods could have additive or synergistic effects against breast cancer. Although, the lack of parallel comparative studies between whole natural foods versus isolated plant compounds limits our conclusion, future pre-clinical and clinical studies evaluating this issue is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2017.11.134DOI Listing
December 2017

Bmp4 Promotes a Brown to White-like Adipocyte Shift.

Cell Rep 2016 08 11;16(8):2243-2258. Epub 2016 Aug 11.

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Department of Health Science, Institute of Food Nutrition and Health, Laboratory of Translational Nutrition Biology, Schwerzenbach 8603, Switzerland. Electronic address:

While Bmp4 has a well-established role in the commitment of mesenchymal stem cells into the adipogenic lineage, its role in brown adipocyte formation and activity is not well defined. Here, we show that Bmp4 has a dual function in adipogenesis by inducing adipocyte commitment while inhibiting the acquisition of a brown phenotype during terminal differentiation. Selective brown adipose tissue overexpression of Bmp4 in mice induces a shift from a brown to a white-like adipocyte phenotype. This effect is mediated by Smad signaling and might be in part due to suppression of lipolysis, via regulation of hormone sensitive lipase expression linked to reduced Ppar activity. Given that we observed a strong correlation between BMP4 levels and adipocyte size, as well as insulin sensitivity in humans, we propose that Bmp4 is an important factor in the context of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2016.07.048DOI Listing
August 2016

Proteomic Analysis of Human Brown Adipose Tissue Reveals Utilization of Coupled and Uncoupled Energy Expenditure Pathways.

Sci Rep 2016 07 15;6:30030. Epub 2016 Jul 15.

Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich, Schwerzenbach, Switzerland.

Human brown adipose tissue (BAT) has become an attractive target to combat the current epidemical spread of obesity and its associated co-morbidities. Currently, information on its functional role is primarily derived from rodent studies. Here, we present the first comparative proteotype analysis of primary human brown adipose tissue versus adjacent white adipose tissue, which reveals significant quantitative differences in protein abundances and in turn differential functional capabilities. The majority of the 318 proteins with increased abundance in BAT are associated with mitochondrial metabolism and confirm the increased oxidative capacity. In addition to uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), the main functional effector for uncoupled respiration, we also detected the mitochondrial creatine kinases (CKMT1A/B, CKMT2), as effective modulators of ATP synthase coupled respiration, to be exclusively expressed in BAT. The abundant expression and utilization of both energy expenditure pathways in parallel highlights the complex functional involvement of BAT in human physiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep30030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4945940PMC
July 2016