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Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) is known primarily for its roles in immunological responses but also has been shown to affect fat metabolism and adipocyte gene expression. To further investigate the effects of IFN-γ on fat cells, we examined the effects of this cytokine on the expression of adipocyte transcription factors in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Although IFN-γ regulated the expression of several adipocyte transcription factors, IFN-γ treatment resulted in a rapid reduction of both peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) protein and mRNA. A 48-h exposure to IFN-γ also resulted in a decrease of both CCAAT/enhancer-binding α and sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP-1) expression. The short half-life of both the PPARγ mRNA and protein likely contributed to the rapid decline of both cytosolic and nuclear PPARγ in the presence of IFN-γ. Our studies clearly demonstrated that the IFN-γ-induced loss of PPARγ protein is partially inhibited in the presence of two distinct proteasome inhibitors. Moreover, IFN-γ also inhibited the transcription of PPARγ, which was accompanied by a decrease in PPARγ mRNA accumulation. In addition, exposure to IFN-γ resulted in a substantial increase in STAT I expression and a small increase in STAT 3 expression. IFN-γ treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes (48-96 h) resulted in a substantial inhibition of insulin-sensitive glucose uptake. These data clearly demonstrate that IFN-γ treatment results in the development of insulin resistance, which is accompanied by the regulation of various adipocyte transcription factors, in particular the synthesis and degradation of PPARγ.

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Journal of Biological Chemistry

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