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Loss of voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 leads to diet-induced obesity in mice
  1. Huimin Pang1,
  2. Jinwen Li1,
  3. Hongyan Du1,
  4. Yingtang Gao2,
  5. Jili Lv1,
  6. Yanxia Liu1,
  7. Shu Jie Li1
  1. 1Department of Biophysics, School of Physics Science,The Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials, Ministry of Education, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, P. R. China
  2. 2Tianjin Key Laboratory of Extracorporeal Life Support for Critical Diseases, Institute of Hepatobiliary Disease, Tianjin Third Central Hospital affiliated to Nankai University, 83 Jintang Road, Hedong District, Tianjin 300170, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shu Jie Li; shujieli{at}


Objective The voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 has been proposed to mediate NADPH oxidase (NOX) function by regulating intracellular pH during respiratory bursts. In our previous work, we showed that Hv1 is expressed in pancreatic β cells and positively regulates insulin secretion. Here, we investigated the role of Hv1 in adipose tissue differentiation, metabolic homeostasis and insulin sensitivity using Hv1 knockout (KO) mice.

Design Mice with genetic deletion of Hv1 are treated with high-fat diet (HFD) similar to wild-type (WT) mice. Body weight gain, adiposity, insulin sensitivity and gene expressions in both adipose tissue and liver were analyzed.

Results Mice with genetic deletion of Hv1 display overt obesity with higher body weight gain and accumulation of adipose tissue compared with similarly HFD-treated WT. Hv1-deficient mice develop more glucose intolerance than WT, but no significant difference in insulin resistance, after fed with HFD. Deficiency of Hv1 results in a remarkable increase in epididymal adipocyte weight and size, while the gene expressions of proinflammatory factors and cytokines are obviously enhanced in the HFD-fed mice. Furthermore, the gene expression of Hv1 is increased in the HFD-fed mice, which is accompanied by the increase of NOX2 and NOX4. In addition, there is more severely diet-induced steatosis and inflammation in liver in KO mice.

Conclusion Our data demonstrated that lacking of Hv1 results in diet-induced obesity in mice through inflammation and hepatic steatosis. This study suggested that Hv1 acts as a positive regulator of metabolic homeostasis and a potential target for antiobesity drugs in therapy and may serve as an adaptive mechanism in cooperating with NOX to mediate reactive oxygen species for adipogenesis and insulin sensitivity.

  • hepatic steatosis
  • inflammation
  • obesity
  • adipogenesis

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  • Contributors HP and SJL conceived and designed the study. All authors performed the experiments. HP and SJL wrote the paper. SJL and HP reviewed and edited the manuscript. All authors were involved in data analysis, read and approved the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31271464).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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