Increased expression level of ANGPTL8 in white adipose tissue under acute and chronic cold treatment

Hossein Arefanian, Irina Al-Khairi, Nermeen Abu Khalaf, Preethi Cherian, Sina Kavalakatt, Dhanya Madhu, Aditi Mathur, Mohamed G Qaddoumi, Fahd Al-Mulla, Jehad Abubaker, Mohamed Abu-Farha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Angiopoietin-like proteins (ANGPTL), primarily 3, 4, and 8, play a major role in maintaining energy homeostasis by regulating triglyceride metabolism. This study evaluated the level of ANGPTL3, 4, and 8 in the liver, brown adipose tissue (BAT), and subcutaneous white adipose tissue (SAT) of mice maintained under acute and chronic cold conditions. Methods: C57BL/6J mice were exposed to cold temperature (4 °C) for 10 days with food provided ad libitum. Animal tissues were harvested at Day 0 (Control group, n = 5) and Days 1, 3, 5, and 10 (cold treatment groups, n = 10 per group). The expression levels of various genes were measured in the liver, SAT, and BAT. ANGPTL3, 4, and 8 expressions were measured in the liver. ANGPTL4, 8, and genes involved in browning and lipid metabolism [uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), lipoprotein lipase (LPL), and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL)] were measured in SAT and BAT. Western blotting (WB) analysis and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were performed to confirm ANGPTL8 expression in these tissues. Results: The expressions of ANGPTL3 and 8 mRNA were significantly reduced in mouse liver tissues after cold treatment (P < 0.05); however, the expression of ANGPTL4 was not significantly altered. In BAT, ANGPTL8 expression was unchanged after cold treatment, whereas ANGPTL4 expression was significantly reduced (P < 0.05). ANGPTL4 levels were also significantly reduced in SAT, whereas ANGPTL8 gene expression exhibited over a 5-fold increase. Similarly, UCP1 gene expression was also significantly increased in SAT. The mRNA levels of LPL and ATGL showed an initial increase followed by a gradual decrease with an increase in the days of cold exposure. ANGPTL8 protein overexpression was further confirmed by WB and IHC. Conclusions: This study shows that exposure to acute and chronic cold treatment results in the differential expression of ANGPTL proteins in the liver and adipose tissues (SAT and BAT). The results show a significant reduction in ANGPTL4 in BAT, which is linked to improved thermogenesis in response to acute cold exposure. ANGPTL8 was activated under acute and chronic cold conditions in SAT, suggesting that it is involved in regulating lipolysis and enhancing SAT browning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117
Pages (from-to)117
JournalLipids in Health and Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Adipose Tissue
  • Angiopoietin-like proteins
  • Browning
  • Cold Treatment
  • UCP1


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