Insulin receptor signaling is crucial for white adipose tissue (WAT) function. Consequently, lack of insulin receptor (IR) in WAT results in a diabetes-like phenotype. Yet, causes for IR downregulation in WAT of patients with diabetes are not well understood. By using multiple mouse models of obesity and insulin resistance, we identify a common downregulation of IR with a reduction of mRNA expression of selenoproteins Txnrd3, Sephs2, and Gpx3 in gonadal adipose tissue. Consistently, GPX3 is also decreased in adipose tissue of insulin-resistant and obese patients. Inducing Gpx3 expression via selenite treatment enhances IR expression via activation of the transcription factor Sp1 in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and improves adipocyte differentiation and function. Feeding mice a selenium-enriched high-fat diet alleviates diet-induced insulin resistance with increased insulin sensitivity, decreased tissue inflammation, and elevated IR expression in WAT. Again, IR expression correlated positively with Gpx3 expression, a phenotype that is also conserved in humans. Consequently, decreasing GPx3 using siRNA technique reduced IR expression and insulin sensitivity in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Overall, our data identify GPx3 as a potentially novel regulator of IR expression and insulin sensitivity in adipose tissue.


Robert Hauffe, Vanessa Stein, Chantal Chudoba, Tanina Flore, Michaela Rath, Katrin Ritter, Mareike Schell, Kristina Wardelmann, Stefanie Deubel, Johannes Florian Kopp, Maria Schwarz, Kai Kappert, Matthias Blüher, Tanja Schwerdtle, Anna P. Kipp, André Kleinridders


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