The thermogenic brown and beige adipocytes consume fatty acids and generate heat to maintain core body temperature in the face of cold challenges. Since their validated presence in humans, the activation of thermogenic fat has been an attractive target for treating obesity and related metabolic diseases. Here, we reported that the opioid growth factor receptor (Ogfr) was highly expressed in adipocytes and promoted thermogenesis. The mice with genetic deletion of Ogfr in adipocytes displayed an impaired capacity to counter environmental cold challenges. Meanwhile, Ogfr ablation in adipocytes led to reduced fatty acid oxidation, enhanced lipid accumulation, impaired glucose tolerance, and exacerbated tissue inflammation under chronic high-fat diet (HFD)-fed conditions. At the cellular level, OGFr enhanced the production of mitochondrial trifunctional protein subunit α (MTPα) and also interacted with MTPα, thus promoting fatty acid oxidation. Together, our study demonstrated the important role of OGFr in fatty acid metabolism and adipose thermogenesis.
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