Adipose tissue and skeletal muscle are the two largest insulin-sensitive organs in the body. They play a major role in maintaining whole body glucose and energy homeostasis. Insulin action results in glucose disposal principally in skeletal muscle and to a lesser extent in adipose tissue. Dysregulation of this function promotes the development of obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Many G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are expressed in insulin sensitive organs and thus have emerged as potential targets for novel antidiabetic drugs. P2Y purinergic receptors are a class of GPCRs activated by nucleotides and nucleotide sugars. The purinergic P2Y6 receptor (P2Y6R) is activated by uridine 5’-diphosphate. The potential role of P2Y6R in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle with respect to maintaining whole body glucose homeostasis remains unexplored. To address this issue, we used Cre/loxP technology to generate mice that lack P2Y6R selectively in adipose tissue (AT-Y6-KO) or skeletal muscle (SK-Y6-KO). Interestingly, AT-Y6-KO mice consuming a high fat diet gained less weight, while SK-Y6-KO mice gained more weight than the corresponding control mice. Body composition revealed that the difference in body weight was due to loss or gain in fat mass in AT-Y6-KO and SK-Y6-KO mice, respectively. Improved vs. impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity was observed in AT-Y6-KO and SK-Y6-KO mice, respectively. Moreover, fasting blood glucose and fed plasma insulin levels were decreased in AT-Y6-KO mice. SK-Y6-KO mice showed elevated blood glucose and plasma insulin levels under both fasting and fed conditions. Detailed mechanistic studies are required for understanding the role of P2Y6R in metabolic tissues and to alter its function for therapeutic purposes.


S. Jain: None. J. Wess: None. K.A. Jacobson: None.

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