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Aryane Cruz Oliveira Pinho, Diana Santos, Inês Baldeiras, Ana Burgeiro, Emelindo C Leal, and Eugenia Carvalho


Thoracic perivascular adipose tissue (tPVAT) has a phenotype resembling brown AT. Dysfunctional tPVAT appears to be linked to vascular dysfunction.


We evaluated uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression by Western blot, oxidative stress by measuring lipid peroxidation, the antioxidant capacity by HPLC and spectrophotometry, and mitochondrial respiration by high-resolution respirometry (HRR) in tPVAT, compared to inguinal white AT (iWAT), obtained from non-diabetic (NDM) and streptozocin-induced diabetic (STZ-DM) mice. Mitochondrial respiration was assessed by HRR using protocol 1: complex I and II oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and protocol 2: fatty acid oxidation (FAO) OXPHOS. OXPHOS capacity in tPVAT was also evaluated after UCP1 inhibition by guanosine 5'-diphosphate (GDP).


UCP1 expression was higher in tPVAT when compared with iWAT in both NDM and STZ-DM mice. The malondialdehyde concentration was elevated in tPVAT from STZ-DM compared to NDM mice. Glutathione peroxidase and reductase activities, as well as reduced glutathione levels, were not different between tPVAT from NDM and STZ-DM mice but were lower compared to iWAT of STZ-DM mice. OXPHOS capacity of tPVAT was significantly decreased after UCP1 inhibition by GDP in protocol 1. While there were no differences in the OXPHOS capacity between NDM and STZ-DM mice in protocol 1, it was increased in STZ-DM compared to NDM mice in protocol 2. Moreover, complex II- and FAO-linked respiration were elevated in STZ-DM mice under UCP1 inhibition.


Pharmacological therapies could be targeted to modulate UCP1 activity with a significant impact in the uncoupling of mitochondrial bioenergetics in tPVAT.

Open access

Taira Wada, Yukiko Yamamoto, Yukiko Takasugi, Hirotake Ishii, Taketo Uchiyama, Kaori Saitoh, Masahiro Suzuki, Makoto Uchiyama, Hikari Yoshitane, Yoshitaka Fukada, and Shigeki Shimba

Adiponectin is a cytokine secreted from adipocytes and regulates metabolism. Although serum adiponectin levels show diurnal variations, it is not clear if the effects of adiponectin are time-dependent. Therefore, this study conducted locomotor activity analyses and various metabolic studies using the adiponectin knockout (APN (−/−)) and the APN (+/+) mice to understand whether adiponectin regulates the circadian rhythm of glucose and lipid metabolism. We observed that the adiponectin gene deficiency does not affect the rhythmicity of core circadian clock genes expression in several peripheral tissues. In contrast, the adiponectin gene deficiency alters the circadian rhythms of liver and serum lipid levels and results in the loss of the time dependency of very-low-density lipoprotein-triglyceride secretion from the liver. In addition, the whole-body glucose tolerance of the APN (−/−) mice was normal at CT10 but reduced at CT22, compared to the APN (+/+) mice. The decreased glucose tolerance at CT22 was associated with insulin hyposecretion in vivo. In contrast, the gluconeogenesis activity was higher in the APN (−/−) mice than in the APN (+/+) mice throughout the day. These results indicate that adiponectin regulates part of the circadian rhythm of metabolism in the liver.

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Ling Cui, Chunlu Tan, Lili Huang, Weihao Wang, Zhengxiang Huang, Fang Geng, Mengjun Wu, Xiaolin Chen, Michael Cowley, Ferdinand Roelfsema, and Chen Chen

Obese women often have certain degree of reproductive dysfunction with infertility. Although the clinical impact of obesity on female infertility has been extensively studied, the effective and targeted treatment is still lacking. Melanocortin-4-receptor knock-out (MC4R KO) mouse is an over-eating obese model with hyperphagia, hyperinsulinemia, reduced growth hormone (GH), and insulin resistance. Dapagliflozin improved the metabolic and hormonal parameters in MC4R KO mice. MC4R KO female mice were treated with dapagliflozin for 14 weeks from 14-week age. Age-matched WT littermates and non-treated MC4R KO mice were used as control groups. Food intake was measured daily. Body weight was measured twice a week. Estrous cycles, GH, and luteinizing hormone (LH) profiles were measured. Selected tissues were collected at the end of experiments for gene expression profiles and hematoxylin–eosin staining. Regularity and mode of hormonal profiles were restored by the dapagliflozin treatment. Estrous cycle was partially normalized, number of CL was significantly increased, and the expression of Kiss1 and Gnrh1 in the hypothalamus and LH in the pituitary was markedly increased by the dapagliflozin treatment. It is conclsuded that dapagliflozin may recover LH and GH profiles partially through modification of relevant gene expression in the hypothalamus and pituitary, and result in an improved ovulation rate in obese mouse model. Dapagliflozin may therefore improve fertility in obese patients.

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Simin Younesi, Alita Soch, Luba Sominsky, and Sarah J Spencer

Early life microglia are essential for brain development, and developmental disruption in microglial activity may have long-term implications for the neuroendocrine control of reproduction. We and others have previously shown that early life immune activation compromises the long-term potential for reproductive function in females. However, the supportive role of microglia in female reproductive development is still unknown. Here, we examined the long-term programming effects of transient neonatal microglial and monocyte ablation on hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis function in female rats. We employed a Cx3cr1-Dtr transgenic Wistar rat model to acutely ablate microglia and monocytes, commencing on either postnatal day (P) 7 or 14, since the development of the HPG axis in female rodents primarily occurs during the first two to three postnatal weeks. After an acutely diminished expression of microglia and monocyte genes in the brain and ovaries, respectively, microglia had repopulated the brain by P21, albeit that cellular complexity was still reduced in both groups at this time. Removal of microglia and monocytes on P7, but not P14 reduced circulating luteinising hormone levels in adulthood and ovarian gonadotropin receptors mRNA. These changes were notably associated with fewer primary and antral follicles in these rats. These data suggest that transient ablation of microglia and monocytes at the start of the second but not the third postnatal week has long-term effects on ovarian health. The findings highlight the important developmental role of a healthy immune system for female potential reproductive capacity and the importance of critical developmental periods to adult ovarian health.

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Daniele Leão Ignacio, Rodrigo Soares Fortunato, Diego Silvestre, Leonardo Matta, Andressa Lima de Vansconcelos, Denise Pires Carvalho, Antonio Galina, João Pedro Werneck-de-Castro, and João Paulo Cavalcanti-de-Albuquerque

Estrogen deficiency causes metabolic disorders in humans and rodents, including in part due to changes in energy expenditure. We have shown previously that skeletal muscle mitochondrial function is compromised in ovariectomized (Ovx) rats. Since physical exercise is a powerful strategy to improve skeletal muscle mitochondrial content and function, we hypothesize that exercise training would counteract the deficiency-induced skeletal muscle mitochondrial dysfunction in Ovx rats. We report that exercised Ovx rats, at 60–65% of maximal exercise capacity for 8 weeks, exhibited less fat accumulation and body weight gain compared with sedentary controls. Treadmill exercise training decreased muscle lactate production, indicating a shift to mitochondrial oxidative metabolism. Furthermore, reduced soleus muscle mitochondrial oxygen consumption confirmed that estrogen deficiency is detrimental to mitochondrial function. However, exercise restored mitochondrial oxygen consumption in Ovx rats, achieving similar levels as in exercised control rats. Exercise-induced skeletal muscle peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α expression was similar in both groups. Therefore, the mechanisms by which exercise improves mitochondrial oxygen consumption appears to be different in Ovx-exercised and sham-exercised rats. While there was an increase in mitochondrial content in sham-exercised rats, demonstrated by a greater citrate synthase activity, no induction was observed in Ovx-exercised rats. Normalizing mitochondrial respiratory capacity by citrate synthase activity indicates a better oxidative phosphorylation efficiency in the Ovx-exercised group. In conclusion, physical exercise sustains mitochondrial function in ovarian hormone-deficient rats through a non-conventional mitochondrial content-independent manner.

Open access

Lina Lawenius, Hannah Colldén, Karin Horkeby, Jianyao Wu, Louise Grahnemo, Liesbeth Vandenput, Claes Ohlsson, and Klara Sjögren

Studies in postmenopausal women and ovariectomized mice show that the probiotic mix Lacticaseibacillus paracasei DSM13434, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum DSM 15312 and DSM 15313 (L. Mix) can protect from bone loss caused by sex steroid deficiency. Whether probiotic bacteria can protect bone also in sex steroid-deficient males is less studied. We used the orchiectomized mouse as a model for age-dependent bone loss caused by decreasing sex hormone levels in males. We treated 10-week-old male mice with either vehicle (veh) or L. Mix for 6 weeks, starting 2 weeks before orchiectomy (orx) or sham surgery. Importantly, mice treated with L. Mix had a general increase in total body bone mineral density (BMD) and lean mass (P ≤ 0.05) compared with veh-treated mice. Detailed computer tomography analysis of dissected bones showed increased trabecular BMD of the distal metaphyseal region of the femur in L. Mix compared to veh-treated orx mice (+8.0%, P ≤ 0.05). In the vertebra, L. Mix treatment increased trabecular bone volume fraction BV/TV (+11.5%, P ≤ 0.05) compared to veh in orx mice. Also, L. Mix increased the levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as propionate and acetate and important intermediates in SCFA synthesis such as succinate and lactate in the cecal content of male mice. In conclusion, L. Mix treatment resulted in a general increase in BMD in adult male mice and prevented trabecular bone loss in femur and vertebra of orx mice. These bone protective effects of L. Mix were associated with increased levels of SCFAs in the cecal content of male mice.

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Alok Tripathi, Pallavi Awasthi, Kundan Singh Rawat, Atma P Dwivedi, Krishna Bhan Singh, Kriti Sharma, Ravi Prakash, Divya Singh, and Atul Goel


Bone healing and regeneration is a complex process that recapitulates embryonic skeletal development and is delayed in diseases like osteoporosis. Bone healing therapies like recombinant bone morphogenetic-2 protein (rhBMP-2) and parathyroid hormone (PTH), an approved bone anabolic therapy reduces fracture risks but are fraught with high cost and several side effects. Thus, there is an unmet need for cost-effective bone healing agents. In this study, we have synthesized 3-piperidinylethoxypterocarpan (3-PEP) which is a hybrid of bone supplement ipriflavone and anti-resorptive drug raloxifene and evaluated its bone regeneration and healing potential. Prior to studies in animal models, the potency of 3-PEP was confirmed in calvarial osteoblast cells. Bromodeoxy uridine cell proliferation and cell viability assay revealed that 3-PEP at 100 pM concentration increased the proliferation and survival of osteoblasts simultaneously inhibiting the apoptosis by involving activation of BCL-2 by phosphorylation at Ser70 site through MEK-ERK pathway. In vivo studies were conducted in estrogen-deficient ovariectomized Balb/c mice and drill hole injury was generated in the mid diaphysis of the femur in all the animals. Treatment with 3-PEP commenced the next day onward and terminated at 7 and 15 days. Micro-CT analysis and calcein labeling of newly generated bone at the drill hole injury site showed that 3-PEP promotes bone healing and new bone formation at a dose of 5 mg/kg at the injury site. These data were also corroborated in non-ovariectomized Balb/c mice cortical defect model. Owing to the side effects associated with rhBMP-2 and PTH, along with the expenses involved, our study proposes an alternative therapeutic option for bone healing.

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Lucia Zhang, Kathy K Lee, Kim S Sugamori, Marc D Grynpas, and Jane Mitchell

GS, the stimulatory heterotrimeric G protein, is an essential regulator of osteogenesis and bone turnover. To determine if increasing GαS in osteoblasts alters bone responses to hyperparathyroidism, we used a transgenic mouse line overexpressing GαS in osteoblasts (GS-Tg mice). Primary osteoblasts from GS-Tg mice showed increased basal and parathyroid hormone (PTH)-stimulated cAMP and greater responses to PTH than cells from WT mice. Skeletal responses to 2-week continuous PTH administration (cPTH) in female mice resulted in trabecular bone loss in WT mice but 74% and 34% increase in trabecular bone mass in long bones and vertebrae, respectively, in GS-Tg mice. Vertebral biomechanical strength was compromised by cPTH treatment in WT mice but not in GS-Tg. Increased peritrabecular fibrosis was greatly increased by cPTH in Gs-Tg compared to WT mice and corresponded with greater increases in Wnt pathway proteins in trabecular bone. Cortical bone responded negatively to cPTH in WT and Gs-Tg mice with large increases in porosity, decreased cortical thickness and compromised biomechanical properties. These results demonstrate that hyperparathyroidism can increase trabecular bone when GS expression and cAMP stimulation in osteoblasts are increased but this is not the case in cortical bone where increased GS expression exacerbates cortical bone loss.

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Amrutha Bagivalu Lakshminarasimha, Madhuri Puvvada, Matthias Hammerschmidt, and Maximilian Michel

Loss of LEPR function (LOF) in mammals leads to diverse phenotypes including morbid obesity and infertility while zebrafish show relatively minor phenotypes. This however allows the study of LEPR LOF in the absence of the detrimental effects of hyperglycemia or obesity. Here, we show evidence that leptin plays a role in the central as well as peripheral regulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis in zebrafish. Animals with a Lepr LOF show dysregulated pituitary HPG genes as well as evidence that oocytes mature slower and/or exhibit an increased rate of atresia. In culture, Lepr LOF attenuates the effect of 17α-20β-dihydroxy-4 pregnen-3-one in promoting germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and increases the rate of GVBD as well as attenuates the rate of oocyte atresia.

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Daiana Fornes, Florencia Heinecke, Cintia Romina Gatti, Sabrina Lorena Roberti, Verónica White, Alicia Jawerbaum, and Evangelina Capobianco

The aim of this study was to evaluate the paternal programming of sex-dependent alterations in fetoplacental growth and placental lipid metabolism regulated by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) target genes in F1 diabetic males born from F0 pregestational diabetic rats. F1 control and diabetic male rats were mated with control female rats. On day 21 of gestation, F2 male and female fetoplacental growth, placental lipid levels, and protein and mRNA levels of genes involved in lipid metabolism and transport were evaluated. Fetal but not placental weight was increased in the diabetic group. Triglyceride, cholesterol and free fatty acid levels were increased in placentas of male fetuses from the diabetic group. The mRNA levels of Pparα and Pparγ coactivator 1α (Pgc-1α) were increased only in placentas of male fetuses from the diabetic group. Protein levels of PPARα and PGC-1α were decreased only in placentas of male fetuses from the diabetic group. No differences were found in Pparγ mRNA and protein levels in placentas from the diabetic group. The mRNA levels of genes involved in lipid synthesis showed no differences between groups, whereas the mRNA levels of genes involved in lipid oxidation and transport were increased only in placentas of male fetuses from the diabetic group. In conclusion, paternal diabetes programs fetal overgrowth and sex-dependent effects on the regulation of lipid metabolism in the placenta, where only placentas of male fetuses show an increase in lipid accumulation and mRNA expression of enzymes involved in lipid oxidation and transport pathways.