Skin-specific deletion of stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 alters skin lipid composition and protects mice from high fat diet-induced obesity

Harini Sampath, Matthew T. Flowers, Xueqing Liu, Chad M. Paton, Ruth Sullivan, Kiki Chu, Minghui Zhao, James M. Ntambi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1) catalyzes the synthesis of monounsaturated fatty acids and is an important regulator of whole body energy homeostasis. Severe cutaneous changes in mice globally deficient in SCD1 also indicate a role for SCD1 in maintaining skin lipids. We have generated mice with a skin-specific deletion of SCD1 (SKO) and report here that SKO mice display marked sebaceous gland hypoplasia and depletion of sebaceous lipids. In addition, SKO mice have significantly increased energy expenditure and are protected from high fat diet-induced obesity, thereby recapitulating the hypermetabolic phenotype of global SCD1 deficiency. Genes of fat oxidation, lipolysis, and thermogenesis, including uncoupling proteins and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ co-activator-1α, are up-regulated in peripheral tissues of SKO mice. However, unlike mice globally deficient in SCD1, SKO mice have an intact hepatic lipogenic response to acute high carbohydrate feeding. Despite increased basal thermogenesis, SKO mice display severe cold intolerance because of rapid depletion of fuel substrates, including hepatic glycogen, to maintain core body temperature. These data collectively indicate that SKO mice have increased cold perception because of loss of insulating factors in the skin. This results in up-regulation of thermogenic processes for temperature maintenance at the expense of fuel economy, illustrating cross-talk between the skin and peripheral tissues in maintaining energy homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19961-19973
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 24 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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