Recent evidence suggests that the accumulation of macrophages as a result of obesity-induced adipose tissue hypoxia is crucial for the regulation of tissue fibrosis, but the molecular mechanisms underlying adipose tissue fibrosis are still unknown. In this study, we revealed that periostin (Postn) is produced at extraordinary levels by adipose tissue after feeding with a high-fat diet (HFD). Postn was secreted at least from macrophages in visceral adipose tissue during the development of obesity, possibly due to hypoxia. Postn -/- mice had lower levels of crown-like structure formation and fibrosis in adipose tissue and were protected from liver steatosis. These mice also showed amelioration in systemic insulin resistance compared with HFD-fed WT littermates. Mice deficient in Postn in their hematopoietic compartment also had lower levels of inflammation in adipose tissue, in parallel with a reduction in ectopic lipid accumulation compared with the controls. Our data indicated that the regulation of Postn in visceral fat could be beneficial for the maintenance of healthy adipose tissue in obesity.
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