Aging-associated reductions in lipolytic and mitochondrial proteins in mouse adipose tissue are not rescued by metformin treatment

Elise Mennes, Cory M. Dungan, Scott Frendo-Cumbo, David L. Williamson, David C. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial enzyme expression is reduced in adipose tissue from old mice, yet little is known regarding mechanisms that could be mediating, or interventions that could be used, to reverse these changes. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between lipolytic and fatty acid reesterification enzymes, 5′ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase and mitochondrial proteins in adipose tissue from young versus old mice. A second aim was to determine whether metformin treatment could rescue the age-associated decline in adipose tissue mitochondrial proteins. Approximately 22-month-old male C57BL/6 mice were fed a diet with or without 0.5% metformin for 8 weeks. Compared with young mice (~11 wk of age), the protein content/phosphorylation of hormone-sensitive lipase, adipose tissue triglyceride lipase, and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase were reduced in old mice. This was paralleled by increases in the plasma nonesterified fatty acid:glycerol ratio and reductions in adipose tissue 5′ adenosine monophosphate- activated protein kinase activity and select mitochondrial proteins in old mice. There were no differences in these variables when comparing adipose tissue from young and 6-month-old mice. While metformin improved glucose homeostasis, it did not increase 5′ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase phosphorylation or mitochondrial enzymes. Our findings demonstrate a co-ordinated down regulation of lipolytic, reesterification, and mitochondrial enzymes in adipose tissue with aging that is unresponsive to metformin treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1060-1068
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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