Imbalances in redox status modulate type 3 deiodinase induction in nonthyroidal illness syndrome. However, the underlying mechanisms that lead to D3 dysfunction under redox imbalance are still poorly understood. Here we evaluated D3 induction, redox homeostasis, and their interrelationships in the liver, muscle, and brain in an animal model of NTIS. Male Wistar rats were subjected to left anterior coronary artery occlusion and randomly separated into two groups and treated or not (placebo) with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine. Sham animals were used as controls. Animals were killed 10 or 28 days post-MI induction and tissues were immediately frozen for biochemical analysis. D3 activity, protein oxidation and antioxidant defenses were measured in liver, muscle, and brain. Compared to those of the sham group, the levels of D3 expression and activity were increased in the liver (P = 0.002), muscle (P = 0.03) and brain (P = 0.01) in the placebo group. All tissues from the placebo animals showed increased carbonyl groups (P < 0.001) and diminished sulfhydryl levels (P < 0.001). Glutathione levels were decreased and glutathione disulfide levels were augmented in all examined tissues. The liver and muscle showed augmented levels of glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and thioredoxin reductase activity (P = 0.001). NAC prevented all the alterations described previously. D3 dysfunction in all tissues correlates with post-MI-induced protein oxidative damage and altered antioxidant defenses. NAC treatment prevents D3 dysfunction, indicating that reversible redox-related remote D3 activation explains, at least in part, the thyroid hormone derangements of NTIS.
Tatiana Ederich Lehnen, Rafael Marschner, Fernanda Dias, Ana Luiza Maia, and Simone Magagnin Wajner
Edra London, Michelle Bloyd, and Constantine A Stratakis
Both direct and indirect evidence demonstrate a central role for the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) signaling pathway in the regulation of energy balance and metabolism across multiple systems. However, the ubiquitous pattern of PKA expression across cell types poses a challenge in pinpointing its tissue-specific regulatory functions and further characterizing its many downstream effects in certain organs or cells. Mouse models of PKA deficiency and over-expression and studies in living cells have helped clarify PKA function in adipose tissue (AT), liver, adrenal, pancreas, and specific brain nuclei, as they pertain to energy balance and metabolic dysregulation. Limited studies in humans suggest differential regulation of PKA in AT of obese compared to lean individuals and an overall dysregulation of PKA signaling in obesity. Despite its complexity, under normal physiologic conditions, the PKA system is tightly regulated by changes in cAMP concentrations upstream via adenylate cyclase and downstream by phosphodiesterase-mediated cAMP degradation to AMP and by changes in PKA holoenzyme stability. Adjustments in the PKA system appear to be important to the development and maintenance of the obese state and its associated metabolic perturbations. In this review we discuss the important role of PKA in obesity and its involvement in resistance to obesity, through studies in humans and in mouse models, with a focus on the regulation of PKA in energy expenditure, intake behavior, and lipid and glucose metabolism.
Amanda J Genders, Timothy Connor, Shona Morrison, Simon T Bond, Brian G Drew, Peter J Meikle, Kirsten F Howlett, and Sean L McGee
Protein kinase D (PKD) is emerging as an important kinase regulating energy balance and glucose metabolism; however, whether hepatic PKD activity can be targeted to regulate these processes is currently unclear. In this study, hepatic PKD activity was reduced using adeno-associated virus vectors to express a dominant-negative (DN) version of PKD1, which impairs the action of all three PKD isoforms. In chow-fed mice, hepatic DN PKD expression increased whole-body glucose oxidation, but had only mild effects on glucose and insulin tolerance and no effects on glucose homeostasis following fasting and refeeding. However, circulating VLDL cholesterol was reduced under these conditions and was associated with hepatic fatty acid accumulation, but not lipids involved in lipoprotein synthesis. The limited effects on glucose homeostasis in DN PKD mice was despite reduced expression of gluconeogenic genes under both fasted and refed conditions, and enhanced pyruvate tolerance. The requirement for PKD for gluconeogenic capacity was supported by in vitro studies in cultured FAO hepatoma cells expressing DN PKD, which produced less glucose under basal conditions. Although these pathways are increased in obesity, the expression of DN PKD in the liver of mice fed a high-fat diet had no impact on glucose tolerance, insulin action, pyruvate tolerance or plasma VLDL. Together, these data suggest that PKD signalling in the liver regulates metabolic pathways involved in substrate redistribution under conditions of normal nutrient availability, but not under conditions of overnutrition such as in obesity.
Yu Wang, Airong Wu, Liting Xi, Ji Yang, Wenjing Zhou, Yuming Wang, Shuang Liang, Weixin Yu, Yue Wang, and Jinzhou Zhu
James A Oakes, Lise Barnard, Karl-Heinz Storbeck, Vincent T Cunliffe, and Nils P Krone
The roles of androgens in male reproductive development and function in zebrafish are poorly understood. To investigate this topic we employed CRISPR/Cas9 to generate cyp11c1 (11β-hydroxylase) mutant zebrafish lines. Our study confirms recently published findings from a different cyp11c1-/- mutant zebrafish line, and also reports novel aspects of the phenotype caused by loss of Cyp11c1 function. We report that Cyp11c1-deficient zebrafish display predominantly female secondary sex characteristics, but may possess either ovaries or testes. Moreover, we observed that cyp11c1-/- mutant male zebrafish are profoundly androgen- and cortisol-deficient. These results provide further evidence that androgens are dispensable for testis formation in zebrafish, as has been demonstrated previously in androgen-deficient and androgen-resistant zebrafish. Herein, we show that the testes of cyp11c1-/- mutant zebrafish exhibit a disorganised tubular structure; and for the first time demonstrate that the spermatic ducts, which connect the testes to the urogenital orifice, are severely hypoplastic in androgen-deficient zebrafish. Furthermore, we show that spermatogenesis and characteristic breeding behaviours are impaired in cyp11c1-/- mutant zebrafish. Expression of nanos2, a type A spermatogonia marker, was significantly increased in the testes of Cyp11c1-deficient zebrafish, whereas expression of markers for later stages of spermatogenesis was significantly decreased. These observations indicate that in zebrafish, production of type A spermatogonia is androgen-independent, but differentiation of type A spermatogonia is an androgen-dependent process. Overall, our results demonstrate that whilst androgens are not required for testis formation, they play important roles in determining secondary sexual characteristics, proper organisation of seminiferous tubules, and differentiation of male germ cells.
Bushra Taqui, Farzad Asadi, Evangelina Capobianco, Daniel Barry Hardy, Alicia Jawerbaum, and Edith Juliana Arany
Maternal diabetes impairs fetal development and increases the risk of metabolic diseases in the offspring. Previously, we demonstrated that maternal dietary supplementation with 6% of olive oil prevents diabetes-induced embryo and fetal defects, in part, through the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). In this study, we examined the effects of this diet on neonatal and adult pancreatic development in male and female offspring of mothers affected with pre-gestational diabetes. A mild diabetic model was developed by injecting neonatal rats with streptozotocin (90 mg/kg). During pregnancy, these dams were fed a chow diet supplemented or not with 6% olive oil. Offspring pancreata was examined at day 2 and 5 months of age by immunohistochemistry followed by morphometric analysis to determine number of islets, α and β cell clusters and β-cell mass. At 5 months, male offspring of diabetic mothers had reduced β-cell mass that was prevented by maternal supplementation with olive oil. PPARα and PPARγ were localized mainly in α cells and PPARβ/δ in both α and β cells. Although Pparβ/δ and Pparγ RNA expression showed reduction in 5-month-old male offspring of diabetic rats, Pparβ/δ expression returned to control levels after olive-oil supplementation. Interestingly, in vitro exposure to oleic acid (major component of olive oil) and natural PPAR agonists such as LTB4, CPC and 15dPGJ2 also significantly increased expression of all Ppars in αTC1–6 cells. However, only oleic acid and 15dPGJ2 increased insulin and Pdx-1 expression in INS-1E cells suggesting a protective role in β-cells. Olive oil may be considered a dietary supplement to improve islet function in offspring of affected mothers with pre-gestational diabetes.
Chaoyi Zhang, Qianli Zhang, Zhihong Huang, and Quan Jiang
Adropin plays a role in the maintenance of energy homeostasis, insulin resistance prevention, and impaired glucose tolerance. However, the molecular mechanisms by which adropin affects hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism in vitro are not entirely understood. This study intended to examine the roles and underlying mechanisms of adropin in glucose and lipid metabolism in Nile tilapia. In primary cultured tilapia hepatocytes, adropin significantly attenuated oleic acid (OA)-induced glucose output and reduced the activities and mRNA expression of cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase), which are involved in gluconeogenesis. In contrast, adropin facilitated glucose uptake activity via glucose transporter 1 (Glut1) upregulation in OA-treated hepatocytes. One-week of adropin treatment reduced the hepatic total lipid accumulation in OA-fed tilapia without changes in body weight. Subsequent studies revealed that adropin suppressed OA-induced intracellular triglyceride accumulation and decreased the expression of genes and proteins involved in lipid metabolisms such as sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c), acetyl-CoA carboxylase α (ACCα) and CD36, but upregulated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) levels. In parallel studies, however, adropin had no detectable effects on fatty acid-binding protein 4 (Fabp4) and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1α (Cpt1α) mRNA expression. Furthermore, adropin treatment dose-dependently increased the phosphorylation level of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Suppression of AMPK by compound C or AMPKα1 siRNA blocked adropin-induced decreases in the mature form of SREBP-1c expression, glucose output, and intracellular triglyceride content in OA-treated hepatocytes. These findings suggest that teleost adropin could suppress hepatic gluconeogenesis and triglyceride accumulation via a mechanism dependent on AMPK signalling.
Qinglei Yin, Liyun Shen, Yicheng Qi, Dalong Song, Lei Ye, Ying Peng, Yanqiu Wang, Zhou Jin, Guang Ning, Weiqing Wang, Dongping Lin, and Shu Wang
SIRT1, a class III histone/protein deacetylase (HDAC), has been associated with autoimmune diseases. There is a paucity of data about the role of SIRT1 in Graves’ disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of SIRT1 in the pathogenesis of GD. Here, we showed that SIRT1 expression and activity were significantly decreased in GD patients compared with healthy controls. The NF-κB pathway was activated in the peripheral blood of GD patients. The reduced SIRT1 levels correlated strongly with clinical parameters. In euthyroid patients, SIRT1 expression was markedly upregulated and NF-κB downstream target gene expression was significantly reduced. SIRT1 inhibited the NF-κB pathway activity by deacetylating P65. These results demonstrate that reduced SIRT1 expression and activity contribute to the activation of the NF-κB pathway and may be involved in the pathogenesis of GD.
Pauline Campos, Jamie J Walker, and Patrice Mollard
In most species, survival relies on the hypothalamic control of endocrine axes that regulate critical functions such as reproduction, growth, and metabolism. For decades, the complexity and inaccessibility of the hypothalamic–pituitary axis has prevented researchers from elucidating the relationship between the activity of endocrine hypothalamic neurons and pituitary hormone secretion. Indeed, the study of central control of endocrine function has been largely dominated by ‘traditional’ techniques that consist of studying in vitro or ex vivo isolated cell types without taking into account the complexity of regulatory mechanisms at the level of the brain, pituitary and periphery. Nowadays, by exploiting modern neuronal transfection and imaging techniques, it is possible to study hypothalamic neuron activity in situ, in real time, and in conscious animals. Deep-brain imaging of calcium activity can be performed through gradient-index lenses that are chronically implanted and offer a ‘window into the brain’ to image multiple neurons at single-cell resolution. With this review, we aim to highlight deep-brain imaging techniques that enable the study of neuroendocrine neurons in awake animals whilst maintaining the integrity of regulatory loops between the brain, pituitary and peripheral glands. Furthermore, to assist researchers in setting up these techniques, we discuss the equipment required and include a practical step-by-step guide to performing these deep-brain imaging studies.
Morag J Young, Colin D Clyne, and Karen E Chapman
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a new strain of coronavirus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2. At the time of writing SARS-CoV-2 has infected >5 million people worldwide. A key step in understanding the pathobiology of SARS-CoV-2 was identification of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the receptor for SARS-CoV-2 to gain entry into host cells. ACE2 is an establishsed component of the 'protective arm' of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system (RAAS) and opposes ACE/angiotensin II (ANG II) pressor and tissue remodelling actions. Identification of ACE2 quickly focused attention on the use of ACE inhibitors (ACEi), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRA) in patients with hypertension and cardiovascular disease given that these pharmacological agents upregulate ACE2 expression in target cells. ACE2 is cleaved from the cells by metalloproteases ADAM10 and ADAM17. Steroid hormone receptors regulate multiple components of the RAAS and may contribute to the observed variation in the incidence of severe COVID-19 between men and women, and in patients with pre-existing endocrine-related disease. Moreover, glucocorticoids play a critical role in the acute and chronic management of inflammatory disease, independent of any effect on RAAS activity. Dexamethasone, a synthetic glucocorticoid, has emerged as a life-saving treatment in severe COVID-19. This review will examine the endocrine mechanisms that control ACE2 and discusses the impact of therapies targeting the RAAS, glucocorticoid and other endocrine systems for their relevance to the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the treatment and recovery from COVID-19 related critical illness.