Estrogens are essential for fertility and also have important effects on regulation of adiposity and the euglycemic state. We report here that lipin1, a candidate gene for lipodystrophy and obesity that is a phosphatidic acid phosphatase critical in regulation of cellular levels of diacylglycerol and triacylglycerol and a key regulator of lipid utilization, is rapidly and robustly down-regulated in the uterus by estradiol via the estrogen receptor. Lipin1 is expressed predominantly in the uterine luminal and glandular epithelium, and during the estrous cycle, lipin1 is lowest when blood levels of estrogen are highest. Lipin1 is expressed throughout all cells in the liver of ovariectomized female mice, and a sustained down-regulation is observed at the mRNA, protein and immunohistochemical levels after estrogen administration. Because the coupling of proper energy use and availability is central to reproduction, we also investigated expression of lipin1 in the uterus and liver of several mouse models of diabetes. Nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice, which have high blood levels of estrogen and impaired fertility, were severely deficient in lipin1 in the uterus and liver, which, interestingly, could be restored by insulin treatment. By contrast, nonobese diabetic/ severe combined immunodeficient (NOD-SCID) mice, which do not develop diabetes, showed normal levels of lipin1. Our findings of lipin1 regulation by estrogen in two key target organs suggest a new role for this lipid-regulating phosphatase not only in central metabolic regulation but also in uterine function and reproductive biology. Estrogen regulation of lipin1 may provide a mechanistic link between estrogens, lipid metabolism, and lipid signaling.
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