Inhibition of cell death inducing DNA fragmentation factor-α-like effector c (CIDEC) by tumor necrosis factor-α induces lipolysis and inflammation in calf adipocytes

Minghe Fan, Xiliang Du, Xiying Chen, Hongxu Bai, Juan J. Loor, Taiyu Shen, Yusheng Liang, Xudong Sun, Qiushi Xu, Yuxiang Song, Zhe Wang, Guowen Liu, Liangyu Yang, Xinwei Li, Xiaobing Li, Wenwen Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dairy cows with ketosis exhibit signs of pronounced adipose tissue lipolysis and systemic inflammation, both of which exacerbate this metabolic disorder. In nonruminants, CIDEC plays a pivotal role in the formation of large unilocular lipid droplets. The present study aimed to ascertain the role of CIDEC in the lipolytic and inflammatory response of white adipose tissue (WAT) in vivo and in vitro. Subcutaneous adipose tissue and blood samples were collected from 15 healthy cows (blood β-hydroxybutyrate concentration < 1.2 mM) and 15 cows with clinical ketosis (blood β-hydroxybutyrate concentration > 3.0 mM) that had a similar number of lactations (median = 3, range = 2–4) and days in milk (median = 6 d, range = 3–9). Adipocytes isolated from 5 healthy Holstein calves (1 d old, female, 30–40 kg) were used for in vitro studies. Isolated adipocytes were treated with 0, 0.1, 1, or 10 ng/mL TNF-α for 3 h, transfected with CIDEC small interfering RNA for 48 h, or transfected with CIDEC overexpression adenovirus for 48 h followed by treatment with TNF-α (0.1 ng/mL) for 3 h. Serum concentrations of fatty acids were greater, and dry matter intake, milk yield, and serum glucose concentrations lower in cows with clinical ketosis. Protein and mRNA abundance of CIDEC were lesser in subcutaneous WAT of clinically ketotic versus healthy cows. Furthermore, the ratio of phosphorylated hormone sensitive lipase (p-LIPE) to LIPE, phosphorylated RELA (p-RELA) to RELA, and protein abundance of PNPLA2 and phosphorylated inhibitor of κBα (p-NFKBIA) were greater in dairy cows with clinical ketosis. The mRNA abundance of proinflammatory cytokines TNFA and IL1B were greater, and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL10 was lower in WAT of dairy cows with clinical ketosis. In calf adipocytes, exogenous TNF-α (0.1, 1, or 10 ng/mL) decreased protein and mRNA abundance of CIDEC. In addition, exogenous TNF-α or knockdown of CIDEC reduced the secretion of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, but increased the ratio of p-LIPE to LIPE, p-RELA to RELA, protein abundance of PNPLA2 and p-NFKBIA, glycerol content, and the secretion of IL-1β in calf adipocytes. Overexpression of CIDEC in TNFα-treated adipocytes attenuated lipolysis and activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway. Overall, these data suggest that inhibition of lipid droplet-associated protein CIDEC by TNF-α contributes to the pronounced lipolysis and inflammation of calf adipocytes, and CIDEC is a relevant target in clinically ketotic cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6134-6145
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • TNFα
  • adipocyte
  • lipolysis
  • transition period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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