The impact of immune mediators on weight homeostasis remains underdefined. Interrogation of resistance to diet-induced obesity in mice lacking a negative regulator of Toll-like receptor signaling serendipitously uncovered a role for B cell activating factor (BAFF). Here we show that overexpression of BAFF in multiple mouse models associates with protection from weight gain, approximating a log-linear dose response relation to BAFF concentrations. Gene expression analysis of BAFF-stimulated subcutaneous white adipocytes unveils upregulation of lipid metabolism pathways, with BAFF inducing white adipose tissue (WAT) lipolysis. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) from BAFF-overexpressing mice exhibits increased Ucp1 expression and BAFF promotes brown adipocyte respiration and in vivo energy expenditure. A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), a BAFF homolog, similarly modulates WAT and BAT lipid handling. Genetic deletion of both BAFF and APRIL augments diet-induced obesity. Lastly, BAFF/APRIL effects are conserved in human adipocytes and higher BAFF/APRIL levels correlate with greater BMI decrease after bariatric surgery. Together, the BAFF/APRIL axis is a multifaceted immune regulator of weight gain and adipose tissue function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)