Adipocytes, which comprise the majority of white adipose tissue (WAT), are involved in obesity-related pathology via various mechanisms, including disturbed lysosomal enzymatic activity and accumulation of oxidative stress. Sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1/p62) is an autophagy marker that participates in antioxidative responses via the activation of nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (NRF2). Trehalose is a non-reducing disaccharide reported to suppress adipocyte hypertrophy in obese mice and improve glucose tolerance in humans. We recently revealed that trehalose increases SQSTM1 levels and enhances antioxidative capacity in hepatocytes. Here, to further evaluate the mechanism behind the beneficial effects of trehalose on metabolism, we examined SQSTM1 levels, autophagy, and oxidative stress in trehalose-treated adipocytes. We initially confirmed that trehalose increases SQSTM1 transcription and protein levels without affecting autophagy in adipocytes. Trehalose also elevated transcription of several lysosomal genes and the activity of cathepsin L, a lysosomal enzyme, independently of the transcription factor EB. In agreement with our data from hepatocytes, trehalose induced the nuclear translocation of NRF2 and the transcription of its downstream antioxidative genes, resulting in reduced cellular reactive oxygen species levels. Moreover, some cellular trehalose was detected in trehalose-treated adipocytes, implying that extracellular trehalose is taken into cells. These observations reveal the mechanism behind the beneficial effects of trehalose on metabolism and suggest its potential for preventing or treating obesity-related pathology.
- oxidative stress