Chronic inflammation that affects primarily metabolic organs, such as white adipose tissue (WAT), is considered as a major cause of human obesity-associated co-morbidities. However, the molecular mechanisms initiating this inflammation in WAT are poorly understood. By combining transcriptomics, ChIP-seq and modeling approaches, we studied the global early and late responses to a high-fat diet (HFD) in visceral (vWAT) and subcutaneous (scWAT) AT, the first being more prone to obesity-induced inflammation. HFD rapidly triggers proliferation of adipocyte precursors within vWAT. However, concomitant antiadipogenic signals limit vWAT hyperplastic expansion by interfering with the differentiation of proliferating adipocyte precursors. Conversely, in scWAT, residing beige adipocytes lose their oxidizing properties and allow storage of excessive fatty acids. This phase is followed by tissue hyperplastic growth and increased angiogenic signals, which further enable scWAT expansion without generating inflammation. Our data indicate that scWAT and vWAT differential ability to modulate adipocyte number and differentiation in response to obesogenic stimuli has a crucial impact on the different susceptibility to obesity-related inflammation of these adipose tissue depots.
Adipocyte precursors; Adipogenesis; Adipose tissue; Angiogenesis; Epigenetics; Genome-scale metabolic network; Metaflammation; System biology; Transcriptomics