Calcium-sensing receptor in adipose tissue: Possible association with obesity-related elevated autophagy

Pamela Mattar, Sofía Sanhueza, Gabriela Yuri, Lautaro Briones, Claudio Perez-Leighton, Assaf Rudich, Sergio Lavandero, Mariana Cifuentes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autophagy is upregulated in adipose tissue (AT) from people with obesity. We showed that activation of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) elevates proinflammatory cytokines through autophagy in preadipocytes. Our aim is to understand the role of CaSR on autophagy in AT from humans with obesity. We determined mRNA and protein levels of CaSR and markers of autophagy by qPCR and western blot in human visceral AT explants or isolated primary preadipocytes (60 donors: 72% female, 23-56% body fat). We also investigated their association with donors’ anthropometric variables. Donors’ % body fat and CaSR mRNA expression in AT were correlated (r = 0.44, p < 0.01). CaSR expression was associated with mRNA levels of the autophagy markers atg5 (r = 0.37, p < 0.01), atg7 (r = 0.29, p < 0.05) and lc3b (r = 0.40, p < 0.01). CaSR activation increased becn and atg7 mRNA expression in AT. CaSR activation also upregulated LC3II by ~50%, an effect abolished by the CaSR inhibitor. Spermine (CaSR agonist) regulates LC3II through the ERK1/2 pathway. Structural equation model analysis suggests a link between donors’ AT CaSR expression, AT autophagy and expression of Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha TNF-α. CaSR expression in visceral AT is directly associated with % body fat, and CaSR activation may contribute to obesity-related disruption in AT autophagy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7617
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2020


  • Autophagy
  • Calcium-sensing receptor
  • Obesity
  • Visceral adipose tissue

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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