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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 16

Int J Mol Sci



Differential Responses to Sigma-1 or Sigma-2 Receptor Ablation in Adiposity, Fat Oxidation, and Sexual Dimorphism.


Li J, Félix-Soriano E, Wright KR, Shen H, Baer LA, Stanford KI, Guo L-W
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep 16; 23(18).
PMID: 36142759.


Obesity is increasing at epidemic rates across the US and worldwide, as are its co-morbidities, including type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Thus, targeted interventions to reduce the prevalence of obesity are of the utmost importance. The sigma-1 receptor (S1R) and sigma-2 receptor (S2R; encoded by ) belong to the same class of drug-binding sites, yet they are genetically distinct. There are multiple ongoing clinical trials focused on sigma receptors, targeting diseases ranging from Alzheimer's disease through chronic pain to COVID-19. However, little is known regarding their gene-specific role in obesity. In this study, we measured body composition, used a comprehensive laboratory-animal monitoring system, and determined the glucose and insulin tolerance in mice fed a high-fat diet. Compared to mice of the same sex, the male and female mice had lower fat mass (17% and 12% lower, respectively), and elevated lean mass (16% and 10% higher, respectively), but S1R ablation had no effect on their metabolism. The male mice exhibited 7% lower fat mass, 8% higher lean mass, increased volumes of O and CO, a decreased respiratory exchange ratio indicating elevated fatty-acid oxidation, and improved insulin tolerance, compared to the male mice. There were no changes in any of these parameters in the female mice. Together, these data indicate that the S1R ablation in male and female mice or the S2R ablation in male mice protects against diet-induced adiposity, and that S2R ablation, but not S1R deletion, improves insulin tolerance and enhances fatty-acid oxidation in male mice. Further mechanistic investigations may lead to translational strategies to target differential S1R/S2R regulations and sexual dimorphism for precision treatments of obesity.