Research Papers:

Targeting viperin improves diet-induced glucose intolerance but not adipose tissue inflammation

Zhengtang Qi, Jie Xia, Xiangli Xue, Jiatong Liu, Weina Liu _ and Shuzhe Ding

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:101418-101436. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20724

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Zhengtang Qi1,2, Jie Xia1,2, Xiangli Xue1,2, Jiatong Liu1,2, Weina Liu1,2 and Shuzhe Ding1,2

1The Key Laboratory of Adolescent Health Assessment and Exercise Intervention, Ministry of Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China

2College of Physical Education and Health, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China

Correspondence to:

Weina Liu, email: [email protected]

Shuzhe Ding, email: [email protected]

Keywords: viperin, glucose intolerance, adipose tissue, inflammation, lipid metabolism

Received: June 22, 2017     Accepted: August 02, 2017     Published: September 08, 2017


Viperin is an interferon-inducible antiviral protein, responsible for antiviral response to a variety of viral infections. Here, we show that silencing viperin by antisense oligonucleotides (ASO) protects against diet-induced glucose intolerance, and yet exacerbates adipose tissue inflammation. In high-fat diet-fed mice, viperin ASO improves glucose homeostasis, reduces plasma triglyceride concentrations and ameliorates diet-induced hepatic steatosis. Peripheral delivery of viperin by adeno-associated virus elevates fasting plasma glucose and insulin concentrations and reduces insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. Viperin overexpression reduces epinephrine- stimulated lipolysis in white adipose tissue, whereas viperin ASO increases expression of lipolytic genes. Targeting viperin by antisense oligonucleotides promotes reciprocal regulation of hepatic and adipose lipogenesis by reducing hepatic lipid content and increasing triacylglycerol content in adipose tissue. These findings reveal viperin as an important target to improve glucose metabolism, and suggest that suppressing antiviral potential may improve the metabolic adaptability to high-fat diet.

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