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Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is a member of the gp130 cytokine family and signals through the receptor complex of gp130 and the LIF receptor (LIFR) to activate the JAK/STAT signaling cascade. Since LIF activates STATs 1 and 3 in adipocytes, we examined the effects of LIF on 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Our studies clearly demonstrate that LIF treatment had minimal effects on adipocyte differentiation as judged by marker gene expression, but did inhibit triacylglyceride (TAG) accumulation during adipogenesis. Acute treatment with LIF resulted in increased expression of suppressors of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS3) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-δ (C/EBPδ) mRNA in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Moreover, the upregulation of C/EBPδ correlated with binding to three sites in the C/EBPδ promoter by LIF-activated protein complexes that contained STAT1 and not STAT3. Chronic treatment with LIF resulted in decreased protein levels of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 (SREBP1) and fatty acid synthase (FAS), but had no effect on the expression of other adipocyte marker proteins or on TAG levels in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes. LIF had a small effect on insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, but did not cause insulin resistance following chronic treatment. These findings indicate that LIF has similar and distinct effects in comparison with the effects of other gp130 cytokines on cultured fat cells. In summary, our results support a role for LIF in the regulation of proteins involved in lipid synthesis and in the modulation of signal transduction pathways in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. © 2005 Society for Endocrinology.

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Journal of Endocrinology

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