PloS one

Anti-obesity effects of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor in Otsuka-Long-Evans-Tokushima fatty rats.

PMID 25144367


Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) has molecular structures and intracellular signaling pathways that are similar to those of leptin and ciliary neurotropic factor (CNTF). It also has immune-modulatory properties. Given that leptin and CNTF play important roles in energy homeostasis and that obesity is an inflammatory condition in adipose tissue, we hypothesized that G-CSF could also play a role in energy homeostasis. We treated 12 38-week-old male Otsuka-Long-Evans-Tokushima fatty rats (OLETF, diabetic) and 12 age-matched male Long-Evans-Tokushima rats (LETO, healthy) with 200 µg/day G-CSF or saline for 5 consecutive days. Body weight reduction was greater in G-CSF-treated OLETF (G-CSF/OLETF) than saline-treated OLETF (saline/OLETF) following 8 weeks of treatment (-6.9±1.6% vs. -3.1±2.2%, p<0.05). G-CSF treatment had no effect on body weight in LETO or on food intake in either OLETF or LETO. Body fat in G-CSF/OLETF was more reduced than in saline/OLETF (-32.2±3.1% vs. -20.8±6.2%, p<0.05). Energy expenditure was higher in G-CSF/OLETF from 4 weeks after the treatments than in saline/OLETF. Serum levels of cholesterol, triglyceride, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α were lower in G-CSF/OLETF than in saline/OLETF. Uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) expression in brown adipose tissue (BAT) was higher in G-CSF/OLETF than in saline/OLETF, but was unaffected in LETO. Immunofluorescence staining and PCR results revealed that G-CSF receptors were expressed in BAT. In vitro experiments using brown adipocyte primary culture revealed that G-CSF enhanced UCP-1 expression from mature brown adipocytes via p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. In conclusion, G-CSF treatment reduced body weight and increased energy expenditure in a diabetic model, and enhanced UCP-1 expression and decreased inflammatory cytokine levels may be associated with the effects of G-CSF treatment.