Role of arginase 2 in systemic metabolic activity and adipose tissue fatty acid metabolism in diet-induced obese mice

Reem T. Atawia, Haroldo A. Toque, Mohamed M. Meghil, Tyler W. Benson, Nicole K.H. Yiew, Christopher W. Cutler, Neal L. Weintraub, Ruth B. Caldwell, Robert W. Caldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) inflammation and metabolic dysregulation are key components of obesity-induced metabolic disease. Upregulated arginase, a ureahydrolase enzyme with two isoforms (A1-cytosolic and A2-mitochondrial), is implicated in pathologies associated with obesity and diabetes. This study examined A2 involvement in obesity-associated metabolic and vascular disorders. WT and globally deleted A2(−/− ) or A1(+/− ) mice were fed either a high fat/high sucrose (HFHS) diet or normal diet (ND) for 16 weeks. Increases in body and VAT weight of HFHS-fed WT mice were abrogated in A2−/−, but not A1+/−, mice. Additionally, A2−/− HFHS-fed mice exhibited higher energy expenditure, lower blood glucose, and insulin levels compared to WT HFHS mice. VAT and adipocytes from WT HFHS fed mice showed greater A2 expression and adipocyte size and reduced expression of PGC-1α, PPAR-γ, and adiponectin. A2 deletion blunted these effects, increased levels of active AMPK-α, and upregulated genes involved in fatty acid metabolism. A2 deletion prevented HFHS-induced VAT collagen deposition and inflammation, which are involved in adipocyte metabolic dysfunction. Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation, impaired by HFHS diet, was significantly preserved in A2−/− mice, but more prominently maintained in A1+/− mice. In summary, A2 is critically involved in HFHS-induced VAT inflammation and metabolic dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1462
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2 2019


  • AMPK-α
  • Arginase
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Fatty acid oxidation
  • Inflammation
  • Metabolism
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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