Deletion of translin (Tsn) induces robust adiposity and hepatic steatosis without impairing glucose tolerance

Aparna P. Shah, Miranda D. Johnson, Xiuping Fu, Gretha J. Boersma, Madhura Shah, Michael J. Wolfgang, Kellie L. Tamashiro, Jay M. Baraban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Translin knockout (KO) mice display robust adiposity. Recent studies indicate that translin and its partner protein, trax, regulate the microRNA and ATM kinase signaling pathways, both of which have been implicated in regulating metabolism. In the course of characterizing the metabolic profile of these mice, we found that they display normal glucose tolerance despite their elevated adiposity. Accordingly, we investigated why translin KO mice display this paradoxical phenotype. Methods: To help distinguish between the metabolic effects of increased adiposity and those of translin deletion per se, we compared three groups: (1) wild-type (WT), (2) translin KO mice on a standard chow diet, and (3) adiposity-matched WT mice that were placed on a high-fat diet until they matched translin KO adiposity levels. All groups were scanned to determine their body composition and tested to evaluate their glucose and insulin tolerance. Plasma, hepatic, and adipose tissue samples were collected and used for histological and molecular analyses. Results: Translin KO mice show normal glucose tolerance whereas adiposity-matched WT mice, placed on a high-fat diet, do not. In addition, translin KO mice display prominent hepatic steatosis that is more severe than that of adiposity-matched WT mice. Unlike adiposity-matched WT mice, translin KO mice display three key features that have been shown to reduce susceptibility to insulin resistance: increased accumulation of subcutaneous fat, increased levels of circulating adiponectin, and decreased Tnfα expression in hepatic and adipose tissue. Conclusions: The ability of translin KO mice to retain normal glucose tolerance in the face of marked adipose tissue expansion may be due to the three protective factors noted above. Further studies aimed at defining the molecular bases for this combination of protective phenotypes may yield new approaches to limit the adverse metabolic consequences of obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-266
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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