NPC1 haploinsufficiency promotes weight gain and metabolic features associated with insulin resistance

David Jelinek, Veronica Millward, Amandip Birdi, Theodore P. Trouard, Randall A. Heidenreich, William S. Garver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


A recent population-based genome-wide association study has revealed that the Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) gene is associated with early-onset and morbid adult obesity. Concurrently, our candidate gene-based mouse growth study performed using the BALB/cJ NPC1 mouse model (Npc1) with decreased Npc1 gene dosage independently supported these results by suggesting an Npc1 gene-diet interaction in relation to early-onset weight gain. To further investigate the Npc1 gene in relation to weight gain and metabolic features associated with insulin resistance, we interbred BALB/cJ Npc1 +/- mice with wild-type C57BL/6J mice, the latter mouse strain commonly used to study aspects of diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. This breeding produced a hybrid (BALB/cJ-C57BL/6J) Npc1 +/- mouse model with increased susceptibility to weight gain and insulin resistance. The results from our study indicated that these Npc1 +/- mice were susceptible to increased weight gain characterized by increased whole body and abdominal adiposity, adipocyte hypertrophy and hepatic steatosis in the absence of hyperphagia. Moreover, these Npc1 +/- mice developed abnormal metabolic features characterized by impaired fasting glucose, glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinemia, hyperleptinemia and dyslipidemia marked by an increased concentration of cholesterol and triacylglycerol associated with low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein. The overall results are consistent with a unique Npc1 gene-diet interaction that promotes both weight gain and metabolic features associated with insulin resistance. Therefore, the NPC1 gene now represents a previously unrecognized gene involved in maintaining energy and metabolic homeostasis that will contribute to our understanding concerning the current global epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberddq466
Pages (from-to)312-321
Number of pages10
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'NPC1 haploinsufficiency promotes weight gain and metabolic features associated with insulin resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this