Mechanisms that control 'beige/brite' thermogenic adipose tissue development may be harnessed to improve human metabolic health. To define these mechanisms, we developed a species-hybrid model in which human mesenchymal progenitor cells were used to develop white or thermogenic/beige adipose tissue in mice. The hybrid adipose tissue developed distinctive features of human adipose tissue, such as larger adipocyte size, despite its neurovascular architecture being entirely of murine origin. Thermogenic adipose tissue recruited a denser, qualitatively distinct vascular network, differing in genes mapping to circadian rhythm pathways, and denser sympathetic innervation. The enhanced thermogenic neurovascular network was associated with human adipocyte expression of THBS4, TNC, NTRK3 and SPARCL1, which enhance neurogenesis, and decreased expression of MAOA and ACHE, which control neurotransmitter tone. Systemic inhibition of MAOA, which is present in human but absent in mouse adipocytes, induced browning of human but not mouse adipose tissue, revealing the physiological relevance of this pathway. Our results reveal species-specific cell type dependencies controlling the development of thermogenic adipose tissue and point to human adipocyte MAOA as a potential target for metabolic disease therapy.
RNASeq data has been deposited in the Gene Expression Omnibus under the accession number GSE200141.
A neurogenic signature involving monoamine oxidase-a controls human thermogenic adipose tissue developmentNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE200141.
Single nucleus RNA sequencing of human deep neck BATE-MTAB-8564.
- Silvia Corvera
- Silvia Corvera
- Javier Solivan-Rivera
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All procedures were performed in accordance with the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Institutional Animal Care and use Committee protocol PROTO202100015.
- Joel K Elmquist, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, United States
© 2022, Solivan-Rivera et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The diaphragm is a domed muscle between the thorax and abdomen essential for breathing in mammals. Diaphragm development requires the coordinated development of muscle, connective tissue, and nerve, which are derived from different embryonic sources. Defects in diaphragm development cause the common and often lethal birth defect, congenital diaphragmatic hernias (CDH). HGF/MET signaling is required for diaphragm muscularization, but the source of HGF and the specific functions of this pathway in muscle progenitors and effects on phrenic nerve have not been explicitly tested. Using conditional mutagenesis in mice and pharmacological inhibition of MET, we demonstrate that the pleuroperitoneal folds (PPFs), transient embryonic structures that give rise to the connective tissue in the diaphragm, are the source of HGF critical for diaphragm muscularization. PPF-derived HGF is directly required for recruitment of MET+ muscle progenitors to the diaphragm and indirectly (via its effect on muscle development) required for phrenic nerve primary branching. In addition, HGF is continuously required for maintenance and motility of the pool of progenitors to enable full muscularization. Localization of HGF at the diaphragm’s leading edges directs dorsal and ventral expansion of muscle and regulates its overall size and shape. Surprisingly, large muscleless regions in HGF and Met mutants do not lead to hernias. While these regions are likely more susceptible to CDH, muscle loss is not sufficient to cause CDH.
The neural crest (NC) is an important multipotent embryonic cell population and its impaired specification leads to various developmental defects, often in an anteroposterior (A-P) axial level-specific manner. The mechanisms underlying the correct A-P regionalisation of human NC cells remain elusive. Recent studies have indicated that trunk NC cells, the presumed precursors of the childhood tumour neuroblastoma, are derived from neuromesodermal-potent progenitors of the postcranial body (NMPs). Here we employ human embryonic stem cell differentiation to define how NMP-derived NC cells acquire a posterior axial identity. We show that TBXT, a pro-mesodermal transcription factor, mediates early posterior NC/spinal cord regionalisation together with WNT signalling effectors. This occurs by TBXT-driven chromatin remodelling via its binding in key enhancers within HOX gene clusters and other posterior regulator-associated loci. This initial posteriorisation event is succeeded by a second phase of trunk HOX gene control that marks the differentiation of NMPs toward their TBXT-negative NC/spinal cord derivatives and relies predominantly on FGF signalling. Our work reveals a previously unknown role of TBXT in influencing posterior NC fate and points to the existence of temporally discrete, cell type-dependent modes of posterior axial identity control.