Adipose-derived lipocalin 14 alleviates hyperglycaemia by suppressing both adipocyte glycerol efflux and hepatic gluconeogenesis in mice

Jimmy Tsz Hang Lee, Zhe Huang, Kewu Pan, Herbert Jialiang Zhang, Connie Waihong Woo, Aimin Xu, Chi Ming Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Aims/hypothesis: Growing evidence supports that dysregulation of adipose tissue-derived factors contributes to the pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications. Since our global gene profiling analysis has identified lipocalin-14 (LCN14)—a secretory protein with lipid-binding properties—as a potential adipokine highly expressed in white adipose tissue (WAT), this study aims to explore the metabolic roles of LCN14 in obese mice, and to investigate the functional mechanisms involved. Methods: Immunoassays and western blotting were performed to determine the circulating level and tissue distribution of LCN14, respectively. Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-mediated gene delivery was used to overexpress LCN14 in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice and the effects on glucose and lipid metabolism were examined. Results: LCN14 is expressed predominantly in WAT. Both circulating levels of LCN14 and its expression in adipose tissues are repressed in DIO and genetically inherited diabetic (db/db) mice. Overexpression of LCN14 by rAAV-mediated gene delivery in DIO mice significantly increased insulin sensitivity in major metabolic tissues and ameliorated hyperglycaemia by inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis. The reduced hepatic glucose production is attributed to the suppressive effects of LCN14 on the expression of gluconeogenic genes and on glycerol efflux in adipocytes, possibly by reducing the expression of aquaporin-7. Conclusions/interpretation: Reduced LCN14 expression is involved in the pathogenesis of obesity-related metabolic dysregulation. LCN14 exerts its beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity via its actions in both adipocytes and hepatocytes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-613
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipokine
  • Aquaporin 7
  • Glucose homeostasis
  • Glycerol efflux
  • Insulin resistance
  • Lipocalin
  • Lipocalin 14
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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