Multiple reports of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression have established its presence in human epicardial adipose tissue (eAT). Its functional relevance to eAT, however, remains largely unknown. In a recent study, we reported that adrenergic stimulation of eAT was associated with downregulation of secreted proteins involved in oxidative stress–related and immune-related pathways. Here, we explored the UCP1-associated features of human eAT using next-generation deep sequencing. Paired biopsies of eAT, mediastinal adipose tissue (mAT), and subcutaneous adipose tissue (sAT) obtained from cardiac surgery patients, with specific criteria of high and low expression of UCP1 in eAT, were subjected to RNA sequencing. Although eAT exhibited a depot-specific upregulation in the immune-related pathways relative to mAT and sAT, high UCP1 expression in eAT was specifically associated with differential gene expression that functionally corresponded with downregulation in the production of reactive oxygen species and immune responses, including T cell homeostasis. Our data indicate that UCP1 and adaptive immunity share a reciprocal relationship at the whole-transcriptome level, thereby supporting a plausible role for UCP1 in maintaining tissue homeostasis in human eAT.
Kanta Chechi, Jinchu Vijay, Pierre Voisine, Patrick Mathieu, Yohan Bossé, Andre Tchernof, Elin Grundberg, Denis Richard