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L Francisco Lorenzo-Martín, Mauricio Menacho-Márquez, Salvatore Fabbiano, Omar Al-Massadi, Antonio Abad, Sonia Rodríguez-Fdez, María A Sevilla, María J Montero, Carlos Diéguez, Rubén Nogueiras and Xosé R Bustelo

Multiple crosstalk between peripheral organs and the nervous system are required to maintain physiological and metabolic homeostasis. Using Vav3-deficient mice as a model for chronic sympathoexcitation-associated disorders, we report here that afferent fibers of the hepatic branch of the vagus nerve are needed for the development of the peripheral sympathoexcitation, tachycardia, tachypnea, insulin resistance, liver steatosis and adipose tissue thermogenesis present in those mice. This neuronal pathway contributes to proper activity of the rostral ventrolateral medulla, a sympathoregulatory brainstem center hyperactive in Vav3−/− mice. Vagal afferent inputs are also required for the development of additional pathophysiological conditions associated with deregulated rostral ventrolateral medulla activity. By contrast, they are dispensable for other peripheral sympathoexcitation-associated disorders sparing metabolic alterations in liver.

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G Almeida-Pereira, T Vilhena-Franco, R Coletti, S Q Cognuck, H V P Silva, L L K Elias and J Antunes-Rodrigues

17β-Estradiol (E2) has been shown to modulate the renin–angiotensin system in hydromineral and blood pressure homeostasis mainly by attenuating angiotensin II (ANGII) actions. However, the cellular mechanisms of the interaction between E2 and angiotensin II (ANGII) and its physiological role are largely unknown. The present experiments were performed to better understand the interaction between ANGII and E2 in body fluid control in female ovariectomized (OVX) rats. The present results are the first to demonstrate that PKC/p38 MAPK signaling is involved in ANGII-induced water and sodium intake and oxytocin (OT) secretion in OVX rats. In addition, previous data from our group revealed that the ANGII-induced vasopressin (AVP) secretion requires ERK1/2 signaling. Therefore, taken together, the present observations support a novel concept that distinct intracellular ANGII signaling gives rise to distinct neurohypophyseal hormone release. Furthermore, the results show that E2 attenuates p38 MAPK phosphorylation in response to ANGII but not PKC activity in the hypothalamus and the lamina terminalis, suggesting that E2 modulates ANGII effects through the attenuation of the MAPK pathway. In conclusion, this work contributes to the further understanding of the interaction between E2 and ANGII signaling in hydromineral homeostasis, as well as it contributes to further elucidate the physiological relevance of PKC/p38 MAPK signaling on the fluid intake and neurohypophyseal release induced by ANGII.

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Niels L Mulder, Rick Havinga, Joost Kluiver, Albert K Groen and Janine K Kruit

MicroRNAs have emerged as essential regulators of beta cell function and beta cell proliferation. One of these microRNAs, miR-132, is highly induced in several obesity models and increased expression of miR-132 in vitro modulates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic benefits of miR-132 overexpression on beta cell function in vivo. To overexpress miR-132 specifically in beta cells, we employed adeno-associated virus (AAV8)-mediated gene transfer using the rat insulin promoter in a double-stranded, self-complementary AAV vector to overexpress miR-132. Treatment of mice with dsAAV8-RIP-mir132 increased miR-132 expression in beta cells without impacting expression of miR-212 or miR-375. Surprisingly, overexpression of miR-132 did not impact glucose homeostasis in chow-fed animals. Overexpression of miR-132 did improve insulin secretion and hence glucose homeostasis in high-fat diet-fed mice. Furthermore, miR-132 overexpression increased beta cell proliferation in mice fed a high-fat diet. In conclusion, our data show that AAV8-mediated gene transfer of miR-132 to beta cells improves beta cell function in mice in response to a high-fat diet. This suggests that increased miR-132 expression is beneficial for beta cell function during hyperglycemia and obesity.

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Renata C Uliani, Alan J Conley, C Jo Corbin, Aimê M Friso, Luciana F S Maciel and Marco A Alvarenga

Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is used as a marker of follicle population numbers and potential fertility in several species including horses but limited data exist across the lifespan. No one has decreased ovarian reserve experimentally to investigate whether a corresponding, quantitative decrease in AMH results. Concentrations of AMH across the lifespan were compiled from 1101 equine females sampled from birth to >33 years of age. Young and old mares (averaging 6 and 19 years) were hemi-ovariectomized and circulating AMH was assessed before and daily thereafter for 15 days. The remaining ovary was removed later and blood was drawn again before and after this second surgery for AMH determination. Polynomial regression analysis and analysis of mares grouped by 5-year intervals of age demonstrated AMH concentrations to be higher in mares aged 5–10 and 10–15 years than 0–5 years of age and lower in mares after 20 years of age. There was high variability in AMH concentrations among neonatal fillies, some of which had concentrations typical of males. Hemi-ovariectomy was followed by a decrease of AMH, almost exactly halving concentrations in intact mares. Concentrations of AMH had returned to intact levels in old mares before complete ovariectomy, as if exhibiting ovarian compensatory hypertrophy, but recovery of AMH was not evident in young mares. AMH may reflect ovarian senescence in mares after 20 years of age but is too variable to do so in the first two decades of life. The ovarian endocrine response to hemi-ovariectomy in mares appears to change with age.

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Ebony T Gilbreath, Lakshmikripa Jaganathan, Madhan Subramanian, Priya Balasubramanian, Katrina D Linning, Sheba M J MohanKumar and Puliyur S MohanKumar

Women are chronically exposed to estrogens through oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy or environmental estrogens. We hypothesized that chronic exposure to low levels of estradiol-17β (E2) can induce inflammatory and degenerative changes in the tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic (TIDA) system leading to reduced dopamine synthesis and hyperprolactinemia. Young (Y; 3–4 months) and middle-aged (MA; 10–12 months) Sprague–Dawley rats that were intact or ovariectomized (OVX) were either sham-implanted or implanted with a slow-release E2 pellet (20 ng E2/day for 90 days). To get mechanistic insight, adult 3- to 4-month-old WT, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and IL-1 receptor (IL-1R) knockout (KO) mice were subjected to a similar treatment. Hypothalamic areas corresponding to the TIDA system were analyzed. E2 treatment increased IL-1β protein and nitrate levels in the arcuate nucleus of intact animals (Y and MA). Nitration of tyrosine hydroxylase in the median eminence increased with E2 treatment in both intact and OVX animals. There was no additional effect of age. This was accompanied by a reduction in dopamine levels and an increase in prolactin in intact animals. E2 treatment increased nitrate and reduced dopamine levels in the hypothalamus and increased serum prolactin in WT mice. In contrast, the effect of E2 on nitrate levels was blocked in IL-1R-KO mice and the effect on dopamine and prolactin were blocked in iNOS KO animals. Taken together, these results show that chronic exposure to low levels of E2 decreases TIDA activity through a cytokine-nitric oxide-mediated pathway leading to hyperprolactinemia and that aging could promote these degenerative changes.

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Maria Namwanje, Longhua Liu, Michelle Chan, Nikki Aaron, Michael J Kraakman and Li Qiang

Fat remodeling has been extensively explored through protein deacetylation, but not yet acetylation, as a viable therapeutic approach in the management of obesity and related metabolic disorders. Here, we investigated the functions of key acetyltransferases CBP/p300 in adipose remodeling and their physiological effects by generating adipose-specific deletion of CBP (Cbp-AKO), p300 (p300-AKO) and double-knockout (Cbp/p300-AKO) models. We demonstrated that Cbp-AKO exhibited marked brown remodeling of inguinal WAT (iWAT) but not epididymal WAT (eWAT) after cold exposure and that this pattern was exaggerated in diet-induced obesity (DIO). Despite this striking browning phenotype, loss of Cbp was insufficient to impact body weight or glucose tolerance. In contrast, ablation of p300 in adipose tissues had minimal effects on fat remodeling and adiposity. Surprisingly, double-knockout mice (Cbp/p300-AKO) developed severe lipodystrophy along with marked hepatic steatosis, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Furthermore, we demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of Cbp and p300 activity suppressed adipogenesis. Collectively, these data suggest that (i) CBP, but not p300, has distinct functions in regulating fat remodeling and that this occurs in a depot-selective manner; (ii) brown remodeling occurs independently of the improvements in glucose metabolism and obesity and (iii) the combined roles of CBP and p300 are indispensable for normal adipose development.

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Eun Soo Lee, Mi-Hye Kwon, Hong Min Kim, Nami Kim, You Mi Kim, Hyeon Soo Kim, Eun Young Lee and Choon Hee Chung

Dibenzoylmethane (DBM) is a beta-diketone analog of curcumin. Numerous studies have shown the beneficial effects of curcumin on diabetes, obesity and diabetic complications including diabetic nephropathy. Recently, we investigated the beneficial metabolic effects of DBM on high-fat diet-induced obesity. However, the effects and mechanisms of action of DBM in the kidney are currently unknown. To investigate the renoprotective effects of DBM in type 2 diabetes, we administered DBM (100 mg/kg) orally for 12 weeks to high-fat diet-induced diabetic model mice. We used mouse renal mesangial (MES13) and macrophage (RAW 264.7) cells to examine the mechanism of action of DBM (20 μM). After DBM treatment, the albumin-to-creatinine ratio was significantly decreased compared to that of the high-fat-diet group. Moreover, damaged renal ultra-structures and functions including increased glomerular volume, glomerular basement membrane thickness and inflammatory signals were ameliorated after DBM treatment. Stimulation of MES13 and RAW264.7 cells by palmitate or high-dose glucose with lipopolysaccharides increased inflammatory signals and macrophage migration. However, these changes were reversed by DBM treatment. In addition, DBM inhibited NADPH oxidase 2 and 4 expression and oxidative DNA damage. Collectively, these data suggested that DBM prevented diabetes-induced renal injury through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

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Liliana del V Sosa, Juan P Petiti, Florencia Picech, Sabrina Chumpen, Juan P Nicola, Pablo Perez, Ana De Paul, Javier Valdez-Taubas, Silvina Gutierrez and Alicia I Torres

The molecular mechanisms underlying the ERα nuclear/cytoplasmic pool that modulates pituitary cell proliferation have been widely described, but it is still not clear how ERα is targeted to the plasma membrane. The aim of this study was to analyse ERα palmitoylation and the plasma membrane ERα (mERα) pool, and their participation in E2-triggered membrane-initiated signalling in normal and pituitary tumour cell growth. Cell cultures were prepared from anterior pituitaries of female Wistar rats and tumour GH3 cells, and treated with 10 nM of oestradiol (E2). The basal expression of ERα was higher in tumour GH3 than in normal pituitary cells. Full-length palmitoylated ERα was observed in normal and pituitary tumour cells, demonstrating that E2 stimulation increased both, ERα in plasma membrane and ERα and caveolin-1 interaction after short-term treatment. In addition, the Dhhc7 and Dhhc21 palmitoylases were negatively regulated after sustained stimulation of E2 for 3 h. Although the uptake of BrdU into the nucleus in normal pituitary cells was not modified by E2, a significant increase in the GH3 tumoural cell, as well as ERK1/2 activation, with this effect being mimicked by PPT, a selective antagonist of ERα. These proliferative effects were blocked by ICI 182780 and the global inhibitor of palmitoylation. These findings indicate that ERα palmitoylation modulated the mERα pool and consequently the ERK1/2 pathway, thereby contributing to pituitary tumour cell proliferation. These results suggest that the plasma membrane ERα pool might be related to the proliferative behaviour of prolactinoma and may be a marker of pituitary tumour growth.

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Miriam Thomalla, Andreas Schmid, Elena Neumann, Petra Ina Pfefferle, Ulf Müller-Ladner, Andreas Schäffler and Thomas Karrasch

Adipocytes express various pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and actively participate in anti-bacterial and anti-viral host defence. Obesity is associated with adipose tissue PRR expression. The potential role of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) in adipocytes has not yet been investigated. Here, we evaluated TLR9 expression during adipocyte differentiation (AD) of 3T3-L1 adipocytes, in primary murine adipocytes and in different murine and human adipose tissue depots by real-time PCR, immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry. TLR9 expression was inhibited using specific siRNA-mediated knockdown, and TLR9 signaling was induced using specific class A, B and C agonistic CpG-oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) treatment vs ODN controls in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and in primary murine adipocytes from Tlr9wt/wt vs Tlr9−/− mice. We found that TLR9 gene expression is induced during AD and that TLR9 protein is expressed in murine gonadal and human visceral adipocytes. AD depends on intact TLR9 expression. Tlr9−/− mice demonstrate significantly reduced adiponectin serum levels, while siRNA-mediated TLR9 knockdown led to reduced adiponectin mRNA expression in adipocytes. TLR9 ligands (CpG-ODNs) inhibit pro-inflammatory resistin secretion in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Tlr9−/− as compared to Tlr9wt/wt adipocytes exhibit increased resistin and MCP1 secretion and reduced adiponectin secretion into cell culture supernatants, while TLR9 ligands (ODNs) show differential effects in Tlr9−/− vs Tlr9wt/wt primary murine adipocytes. TLR9 expression is significantly increased in visceral compared to subcutaneous adipose tissue depots in non-diabetic obese patients and correlates with systemic resistin levels in a compartment-specific manner. Thus, adipocytic TLR9 is a putative, new protective factor during (obesity-associated) adipose tissue inflammation.

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Ana P Pinto, Alisson L da Rocha, Eike B Kohama, Rafael C Gaspar, Fernando M Simabuco, Fabiani G Frantz, Leandro P de Moura, José R Pauli, Dennys E Cintra, Eduardo R Ropelle, Ellen C de Freitas and Adelino S R da Silva

The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inflammation relationship occurs at different levels and is essential for the adequate homeostatic function of cellular systems, becoming harmful when chronically engaged. Intense physical exercise enhances serum levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6). In response to a chronic exhaustive physical exercise protocol, our research group verified an increase of the IL-6 concentration and ER stress proteins in extensor digitorium longus (EDL) and soleus. Based on these results, we hypothesized that IL-6-knockout mice would demonstrate a lower modulation in the ER stress proteins compared to the wild-type mice. To clarify the relationship between exercise-induced IL-6 increased and ER stress, we studied the effects of an acute exhaustive physical exercise protocol on the levels of ER stress proteins in the skeletal muscles of IL-6-knockout (KO) mice. The WT group displayed a higher exhaustion time compared to the IL-6 KO group. After 1 h of the acute exercise protocol, the serum levels of IL-6 and IL-10 were enhanced in the WT group. Independent of the experimental group, the CHOP and cleaved caspase 12/total caspase 12 ratio in EDL as well as ATF6 and CHOP in soleus were sensitive to the acute exercise protocol. Compared to the WT group, the oscillation patterns over time of BiP in EDL and soleus as well as of peIF2-alpha/eIF2-alpha ratio in soleus were attenuated for the IL-6 KO group. In conclusion, IL-6 seems to be related with the ER stress homeostasis, once knockout mice presented attenuation of BiP in EDL and soleus as well as of pEiF2-alpha/EiF2-alpha ratio in soleus after the acute exhaustive physical exercise protocol.