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Free access

Ming-sheng Ye, Liping Luo, Qi Guo, Tian Su, Peng Cheng, and Yan Huang

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is emerging as a target to beat obesity through the dissipation of chemical energy to heat. However, the molecular mechanisms of brown adipocyte thermogenesis remain to be further elucidated. Here, we show that KCTD10, a member of the polymerase delta-interacting protein 1 family, was reduced in BAT by cold stress and a β3 adrenoceptor agonist. Moreover, KCTD10 level increased in the BAT of obese mice, and KCTD10 overexpression attenuates uncoupling protein 1 expression in primary brown adipocytes. BAT-specific KCTD10 knockdown mice had increased thermogenesis and cold tolerance protecting from high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. Conversely, overexpression of KCTD10 in BAT caused reduced thermogenesis, cold intolerance, and obesity. Mechanistically, inhibiting Notch signaling restored the KCTD10 overexpression-suppressed thermogenesis. Our study presents that KCTD10 serves as an upstream regulator of Notch signaling pathway to regulate BAT thermogenesis and whole-body metabolic function.

Open access

Jianshu Chen, Jing Yu, Ruowen Yuan, Ningyin Li, Caie Li, and Xiaofang Zhang

Compelling evidence has described that the incidence of hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in postmenopausal women is significantly increased worldwide. Our team’s previous research identified that androgen was an underlying factor contributing to increased blood pressure and LVH in postmenopausal women. However, little is known about how androgens affect LVH in postmenopausal hypertensive women. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of mammalian rapamycin receptor (mTOR) signaling pathway in myocardial hypertrophy in androgen-induced postmenopausal hypertension and whether mTOR inhibitors can protect the myocardium from androgen-induced interference to prevent and treat cardiac hypertrophy. For that, ovariectomized (OVX) spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) aged 12 weeks were used to study the effects of testosterone (T 2.85 mg/kg/weekly i.m.) on blood pressure and myocardial tissue. On the basis of antihypertensive therapy (chlorthalidone 8 mg/kg/day ig), the improvement of blood pressure and myocardial hypertrophy in rats treated with different dose gradients of rapamycin (0.8 mg/kg/day vs 1.5 mg/kg/day vs 2 mg/kg/day i.p.) in OVX + estrogen (E 9.6 mg/kg/day, ig) + testosterone group was further evaluated. After testosterone intervention, the OVX female rats exhibited significant increments in the heart weight/tibial length (TL), area of cardiomyocytes and the mRNA expressions of ANP, β-myosin heavy chain and matrix metalloproteinase 9 accompanied by a significant reduction in the uterine weight/TL and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1. mTOR, ribosomal protein S6 kinase (S6K1), 4E-binding protein 1 (4EBP1) and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E in myocardial tissue of OVX + estrogen + testosterone group were expressed at higher levels than those of the other four groups. On the other hand, rapamycin abolished the effects of testosterone-induced cardiac hypertrophy, decreased the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of SHR, and inhibited the activation of mTOR/S6K1/4EBP1 signaling pathway in a concentration-dependent manner. Collectively, these data suggest that the mTOR/S6K1/4EBP1 pathway is an important therapeutic target for the prevention of LVH in postmenopausal hypertensive female rats with high testosterone levels. Our findings also support the standpoint that the mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin, can eliminate testosterone-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.

Free access

Ines Ross, Denzel B Omengan, Guo N Huang, and Alexander Y Payumo

While adult zebrafish and newborn mice possess a robust capacity to regenerate their hearts, this ability is generally lost in adult mammals. The logic behind the diversity of cardiac regenerative capacity across the animal kingdom is not well understood. We have recently reported that animal metabolism is inversely correlated to the abundance of mononucleated diploid cardiomyocytes in the heart, which retain proliferative and regenerative potential. Thyroid hormones are classical regulators of animal metabolism, mitochondrial function, and thermogenesis, and a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates that these hormonal regulators also have direct effects on cardiomyocyte proliferation and maturation. We propose that thyroid hormones dually control animal metabolism and cardiac regenerative potential through distinct mechanisms, which may represent an evolutionary tradeoff for the acquisition of endothermy and loss of heart regenerative capacity. In this review, we describe the effects of thyroid hormones on animal metabolism and cardiomyocyte regeneration and highlight recent reports linking the loss of mammalian cardiac regenerative capacity to metabolic shifts occurring after birth.

Free access

Sarah J Richardson and Alberto Pugliese

We review the current knowledge of pancreas pathology in type 1 diabetes. During the last two decades, dedicated efforts toward the recovery of pancreas from deceased patients with type 1 diabetes have promoted significant advances in the characterization of the pathological changes associated with this condition. The implementation of autoantibody screening among organ donors has also allowed examining pancreas pathology in the absence of clinical disease, but in the presence of serological markers of autoimmunity. The assessment of key features of pancreas pathology across various disease stages allows driving parallels with clinical disease stages. The main pathological abnormalities observed in the pancreas with type 1 diabetes are beta-cell loss and insulitis; more recently, hyperexpression of HLA class I and class II molecules have been reproduced and validated. Additionally, there are changes affecting extracellular matrix components, evidence of viral infections, inflammation, and ER stress, which could contribute to beta-cell dysfunction and the stimulation of apoptosis and autoimmunity. The increasing appreciation that beta-cell loss can be less severe at diagnosis than previously estimated, the coexistence of beta-cell dysfunction, and the persistence of key features of pancreas pathology for years after diagnosis impact the perception of the dynamics of this chronic process. The emerging information is helping the identification of novel therapeutic targets and has implications for the design of clinical trials.

Free access

Patricia Cristine Borck, Sarah Rickli, Jean Franciesco Vettorazzi, Thiago Martins Batista, Antonio Carlos Boschero, Elaine Vieira, and Everardo Magalhães Carneiro

Disruption of biological rhythms due to exposure to artificial light at night (ALAN) has emerged as a new risk factor for metabolic diseases. However, the effects of ALAN exposure on energy metabolism with concomitant misalignment in the circadian system caused by nutritional imbalance remain largely unexplored. Here, we evaluate whether a low-protein (LP) diet could enhance the effects induced by exposure to ALAN on the energy metabolism and consequently predispose to metabolic disorders. Male C57BL6/J mice were weaned on a normal protein (NP) or a LP diet and housed on 12 h light:12 h darkness (LD) cycle. After 6 weeks, mice maintained on their respective diets were subdivided into normal light/darkness cycle (NP/LD; LP/LD) or exposed to ALAN (NP/LL; LP/LL) for 8 weeks. We observed that exposure to ALAN concomitant to LP diet disrupts the behavioral rhythms, without shifting the timing of food intake. Furthermore, exposure to ALAN leads to increased body and fat pad weights, higher levels of fast and fed glycemia and glucose intolerance independent of the diet consumed. Importantly, the effects of ALAN on circadian regulation of insulin sensitivity were diet-dependent with LP/LL mice showing insulin resistance in an opposite time of day than NP/LL. At the molecular level, exposure to ALAN concurrent with LP diet increased the expression of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 in both periods analyzed and inverted the pattern of fibroblast growth factor 21 (Fgf21) expression in the liver. Our data suggest that dietary protein restriction modulates the effects induced by nighttime light exposure on glucose metabolism, which could be partially related with the dysregulation of hepatic Fgf21 expression.

Free access

Amanda J Genders, Jujiao Kuang, Evelyn C Marin, Nicholas J Saner, Javier Botella, Macsue Jacques, Glenn K McConell, Victor A Andrade-Souza, Javier Chagolla, and David J Bishop

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between mitochondrial content and respiratory function and whole-body insulin resistance in high-fat diet (HFD) fed rats. Male Wistar rats were given either a chow diet or an HFD for 12 weeks. After 4 weeks of the dietary intervention, half of the rats in each group began 8 weeks of interval training. In vivo glucose and insulin tolerance were assessed. Mitochondrial respiratory function was assessed in permeabilised soleus and white gastrocnemius (WG) muscles. Mitochondrial content was determined by the measurement of citrate synthase (CS) activity and protein expression of components of the electron transport system (ETS). We found HFD rats had impaired glucose and insulin tolerance but increased mitochondrial respiratory function and increased protein expression of components of the ETS. This was accompanied by an increase in CS activity in WG. Exercise training improved glucose and insulin tolerance in the HFD rats. Mitochondrial respiratory function was increased with exercise training in the chow-fed animals in soleus muscle. This exercise effect was absent in the HFD animals. In conclusion, exercise training improved insulin resistance in HFD rats but without changes in mitochondrial respiratory function and content. The lack of an association between mitochondrial characteristics and whole-body insulin resistance was reinforced by the absence of strong correlations between these measures. Our results suggest that improvements in mitochondrial respiratory function and content are not responsible for improvements in whole-body insulin resistance in HFD rats.

Open access

Christina Antza, Georgios Kostopoulos, Samiul Mostafa, Krishnarajah Nirantharakumar, and Abd Tahrani

Global rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are increasing globally concomitant with a rising prevalence of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders. Understanding the links between sleep, obesity and T2DM might offer an opportunity to develop better prevention and treatment strategies for these epidemics. Experimental studies have shown that sleep restriction is associated with changes in energy homeostasis, insulin resistance and β-cell function. Epidemiological cohort studies established short sleep duration as a risk factor for developing obesity and T2DM. In addition, small studies suggested that short sleep duration was associated with less weight loss following lifestyle interventions or bariatric surgery. In this article, we review the epidemiological evidence linking sleep duration to obesity and T2DM and plausible mechanisms. In addition, we review the impact of changes in sleep duration on obesity and T2DM.

Free access

Yan Cao, Zijie Feng, Xin He, Xuyao Zhang, Bowen Xing, Yuan Wu, Taylor Hojnacki, Bryson W Katona, Jian Ma, Xiaorong Zhan, and Xianxin Hua

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition of diabetes with onset or first recognition in pregnancy. Its incidence is increasing, and GDM deleteriously affects both mother and the fetus during and even after pregnancy. Previous studies in mice have shown that during pregnancy, β-cell proliferation increases in the middle and late stages of pregnancy and returns to normal levels after delivery. Hormones, such as prolactin, estradiol, and progesterone as well as protein kinases, play important roles in regulating gestation-mediated β-cell proliferation; however, the regulatory relationship between them is uncertain. We previously found that protein kinase Pbk was crucial for basal proliferation of mouse islet cells. Herein we show that Pbk is upregulated during pregnancy in mice and Pbk kinase activity is required for enhanced β- cell proliferation during pregnancy. Notably, knock-in (KI) of a kinase-inactivating Pbk mutation leads to impaired glucose tolerance and reduction of β-cell proliferation and islet mass in mice during pregnancy. Prolactin upregulates the expression of Pbk, but the upregulation is diminished by knockdown of the prolactin receptor and by the inhibitors of JAK and STAT5, which mediate prolactin receptor signaling, in β-cells. Treatment of β-cells with prolactin increases STAT5 binding to the Pbk locus, as well as the recruitment of RNA polymerase II, resulting in increased Pbk transcription. These results demonstrate that Pbk is upregulated during pregnancy, at least partly by prolactin-induced and STAT5-mediated enhancement of gene transcription, and Pbk is essential for pregnancy-induced β-cell proliferation, increase in islet mass, and maintenance of normal blood glucose during pregnancy in preclinical models. These findings provide new insights into the interplay between hormones and protein kinases that ultimately prevent the development of GDM.

Free access

Tomoaki Hayakawa, Atsunori Fukuhara, Aya Saiki, Michio Otsuki, and Iichiro Shimomura

Primary aldosteronism (PA) is caused by autonomous overproduction of aldosterone, which induces organ damage directly via activation of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR); however, no specific or sensitive biomarkers are able to reflect MR activity. Recently, it is found that urinary extracellular vesicles (uEVs) are secreted by multiple cell types in the kidney and are an enriched source of kidney-specific proteins. Here, we evaluate sodium transporters in uEVs as candidates of biomarkers of MR activity in the clinical setting. Sixteen patients were examined to determine their plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) and renin activity, and their morning urine was collected. The protein levels of two sodium transporters in uEVs, γ-epithelial sodium channel (γENaC) and thiazide-sensitive sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC), were quantified by Western blot analysis, and their clinical correlation with PAC was determined. Consequently, we found PAC was significantly correlated with the γENaC protein level adjusted by the CD9 protein level in uEVs (correlation coefficient = 0.71). PAC was also correlated with the NCC protein level adjusted by the CD9 protein level in uEVs (correlation coefficient = 0.61). In two PA patients, treatment with an MR antagonist or adrenalectomy reduced γENaC/CD9 in uEVs. In conclusion, γENaC/CD9 in uEVs is a valuable biomarker of MR activity in PA patients and may be a useful biomarker for other MR-associated diseases.