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Open Access Research

Mobilization of pro-inflammatory lipids in obese Plscr3-deficient mice

David M Mutch13, Grace O'Maille2, William R Wikoff2, Therese Wiedmer14, Peter J Sims14 and Gary Siuzdak2*

Author Affiliations

1 The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

2 The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Molecular Biology and the Center for Mass Spectrometry, North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

3 Current address: INSERM U755 Nutriomique, Paris, F-75004 France; Pierre and Marie Curie - Paris 6 University, Faculty of Medicine, Les Cordeliers, 75004 Paris, France

4 Current address: Department of Pathology and Laboratory of Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA

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Genome Biology 2007, 8:R38  doi:10.1186/gb-2007-8-3-r38

Published: 13 March 2007

Abstract

Background

The obesity epidemic has prompted the search for candidate genes capable of influencing adipose function. One such candidate, that encoding phospholipid scramblase 3 (PLSCR3), was recently identified, as genetic deletion of it led to lipid accumulation in abdominal fat pads and changes characteristic of metabolic syndrome. Because adipose tissue is increasingly recognized as an endocrine organ, capable of releasing small molecules that modulate disparate physiological processes, we examined the plasma from wild-type, Plscr1-/-, Plscr3-/- and Plscr1&3-/- mice. Using an untargeted comprehensive metabolite profiling approach coupled with targeted gene expression analyses, the perturbed biochemistry and functional redundancy of PLSCR proteins was assessed.

Results

Nineteen metabolites were differentially and similarly regulated in both Plscr3-/- and Plscr1&3-/- animals, of which five were characterized from accurate mass, tandem mass spectrometry data and their correlation to the Metlin database as lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) species enriched with C16:1, C18:1, C20:3, C20:5 and C22:5 fatty acids. No significant changes in the plasma metabolome were detected upon elimination of PLSCR1, indicating that increases in pro-inflammatory lipids are specifically associated with the obese state of Plscr3-deficient animals. Correspondingly, increases in white adipose lipogenic gene expression confirm a role for PLSCR3 in adipose lipid metabolism.

Conclusion

The untargeted profiling of circulating metabolites suggests no detectable functional redundancies between PLSCR proteins; however, this approach simultaneously identified previously unrecognized lipid metabolites that suggest a novel molecular link between obesity, inflammation and the downstream consequences associated with PLSCR3-deficiency.