PloS one

The Transcriptional Effects of PCB118 and PCB153 on the Liver, Adipose Tissue, Muscle and Colon of Mice: Highlighting of Glut4 and Lipin1 as Main Target Genes for PCB Induced Metabolic Disorders.

PMID 26086818


Epidemiological studies have associated environmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes; however, little is known about the underlying mechanisms involved in the metabolic side-effects of PCB. Our study evaluated the transcriptional effects of a subchronic exposure (gavage at Day 0 and Day 15 with 10 or 100 μmol/Kg bw) to PCB118 (dioxin-like PCB), PCB153 (non-dioxin-like PCB), or an equimolar mixture of PCB118 and PCB153 on various tissues (liver, visceral adipose tissue, muscle, and colon) in mice. Our results showed that a short-term exposure to PCB118 and/or PCB153 enhanced circulating triglyceride levels but did not affect glycemia. Among the studied tissues, we did not observe any modification of the expression of inflammation-related genes, such as cytokines or chemokines. The main transcriptional effects were observed in visceral adipose and liver tissues. We found a downregulation of lipin1 and glut4 expression in these two target organs. In adipose tissue, we also showed a downregulation of Agpat2, Slc25a1, and Fasn. All of these genes are involved in lipid metabolism and insulin resistance. In muscles, we observed an induction of CnR1 and Foxo3 expression, which may be partly involved in PCB metabolic effects. In summary, our results suggest that lipin1 and glut4, notably in adipose tissue, are the main targeted genes in PCB-induced metabolic disorders, however, further studies are required to fully elucidate the mechanisms involved.