Insights into Transcriptional Regulation of Hepatic Glucose Production.
Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-alpha controls the expression of multiple genes involved in lipid metabolism, and activators of PPAR-alpha, such as fibrates, are commonly used drugs in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia and other dyslipidemic states. Recent data have also suggested a role for PPAR-alpha in insulin resistance and glucose homeostasis. In the present study, we have assessed the transcriptional and physiological responses to PPAR-alpha activation in a diet-induced rat model of insulin resistance. The two PPAR-alpha activators, fenofibrate and Wy-14643, were dosed at different concentrations in high-fat fed Sprague-Dawley rats, and the transcriptional responses were examined in liver using cDNA microarrays. In these analyses, 98 genes were identified as being regulated by both compounds. From this pool of genes, 27 correlated to the observed effect on plasma insulin, including PPAR-alpha itself and the leukocyte antigen-related protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP-LAR). PTP-LAR was downregulated by both compounds, and showed upregulation as a result of the high-fat feeding. This regulation was also observed at the protein level. Furthermore, downregulation of PTP-LAR by fenofibric acid was demonstrated in rat FaO hepatoma cells in vitro, indicating that the observed regulation of PTP-LAR by fenofibrate and Wy-14643 in vivo is mediated as a direct effect of the PPAR agonists on the hepatocytes. PTP-LAR is one of the first genes involved in insulin receptor signaling to be shown to be regulated by PPAR-alpha agonists. These data suggest that factors apart from skeletal muscle lipid supply may influence PPAR-alpha-mediated amelioration of insulin resistance.