Visceral adipose MicroRNA 223 is upregulated in human and murine obesity and modulates the inflammatory phenotype of macrophages

Jeffrey A. Deiuliis, Rafay Syed, Dheeraj Duggineni, Jessica Rutsky, Palanivel Rengasamy, Jie Zhang, Kun Huang, Bradley Needleman, Dean Mikami, Kyle Perry, Jeffrey Hazey, Sanjay Rajagopalan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Obesity in humans and mice is typified by an activated macrophage phenotype in the visceral adipose tissue (VAT) leading to increased macrophage-mediated inflammation. microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in regulating inflammatory pathways in macrophages, and in this study we compared miRNA expression in the VAT of insulin resistant morbidly obese humans to a non-obese cohort with normal glucose tolerance. miR-223-3p was found to be significantly upregulated in the whole omental tissue RNA of 12 human subjects, as were 8 additional miRNAs. We then confirmed that miR-223 upregulation was specific to the stromal vascular cells of human VAT, and found that miR-223 levels were unchanged in adipocytes and circulating monocytes of the non-obese and obese. miR-223 ablation increased basal / unstimulated TLR4 and STAT3 expression and LPS-stimulated TLR4, STAT3, and NOS2 expression in primary macrophages. Conversely, miR-223 mimics decreased TLR4 expression in primary macrophage, at the same time it negatively regulated FBXW7 expression, a well described suppressor of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling. We concluded that the abundance of miR-223 in macrophages significantly modulates macrophage phenotype / activation state and response to stimuli via effects on the TLR4/FBXW7 axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0165962
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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