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Manjunath Ramanjaneya, Bee K Tan, Marcin Rucinski, Mohamed Kawan, Jiamiao Hu, Jaspreet Kaur, Vanlata H Patel, Ludwik K Malendowicz, Hanna Komarowska, Hendrik Lehnert, and Harpal S Randeva

NUCB2/nesfatin and its proteolytically cleaved product nesfatin-1 are recently discovered anorexigenic hypothalamic neuroproteins involved in energy homeostasis. It is expressed both centrally and in peripheral tissues, and appears to have potent metabolic actions. NUCB2/nesfatin neurons are activated in response to stress. Central nesfatin-1 administration elevates circulating ACTH and corticosterone levels. Bilateral adrenalectomy increased NUCB2/nesfatin mRNA levels in rat paraventricular nuclei. To date, studies have not assessed the effects of nesfatin-1 stimulation on human adrenocortical cells. Therefore, we investigated the expression and effects of nesfatin-1 in a human adrenocortical cell model (H295R). Our findings demonstrate that NUCB2 and nesfatin-1 are expressed in human adrenal gland and human adrenocortical cells (H295R). Stimulation with nesfatin-1 inhibits the growth of H295R cells and promotes apoptosis, potentially via the involvement of Bax, BCL-XL and BCL-2 genes as well as ERK1/2, p38 and JNK1/2 signalling cascades. This has implications for understanding the role of NUCB2/nesfatin in adrenal zonal development. NUCB2/nesfatin may also be a therapeutic target for adrenal cancer. However, further studies using in vivo models are needed to clarify these concepts.

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FM Tomas

The anti-catabolic efficacy of IGF-I treatment commencing before, with or after the onset of catabolism was compared in order to test whether earlier treatment can more effectively blunt a catabolic response. Young rapidly growing male rats (145 g body weight) and old weight-stable female rats (270 g body weight) were used in two experiments. The IGF-I variant LR 3IGF-I was continuously infused at 280 micrograms/day from 2 days before (early), concurrent with or 2 days after (delayed) commencement of a 6 day dexamethasone infusion (125 micrograms/kg per day). Both early and delayed treatment of young rats with LR 3IGF-I significantly reduced the measured catabolic effects of dexamethasone. Early treatment was more effective than delayed treatment, with significantly higher nitrogen balance (90 +/- 12 vs 31 +/- 6 mg/day), carcass nitrogen gain (0.37 +/- 0.27 vs -1.13 +/- 0.10% per day) and protein fractional synthesis rates after 2 (10.4 +/- 0.5 vs 8.3 +/- 0.2% per day) and 6 days of dexamethasone (8.2 +/- 0.6 vs 7.0 +/- 0.3% per day). Similarly, fractional breakdown rates of carcass protein were maintained at significantly lower levels in rats given early treatment (6.23 +/- 0.24 vs 6.60 +/- 0.22% per day). In contrast, the old rats were less responsive to LR 3IGF-I treatment and only early and concurrent treatment significantly reduced the catabolic response, partly because of higher food intake. Early treatment was superior to delayed treatment and led to significantly higher nitrogen balance(-19 +/- 11 vs -83 +/- 7 mg/day) and carcass nitrogen fractional gain (-1.19 +/- 0.40 vs -2.76 +/- 0.37% per day) as well as lower final rates of carcass protein fractional breakdown (3.55 +/- 0.15 vs 3.83 +/- 0.07% per day). These experiments show that early (prophylactic) treatment with IGF-I is superior to delayed treatment for reducing catabolism induced by dexamethasone. The results provide the basis for further research to determine if prophylactic IGF-I treatment is useful in other circumstances where catabolism can be anticipated, such as in elective major surgery.

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Risheng Ye, Min Ni, Miao Wang, Shengzhan Luo, Genyuan Zhu, Robert H Chow, and Amy S Lee

The inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) as ligand-gated Ca2 + channels are key modulators of cellular processes. Despite advances in understanding their critical role in regulating neuronal function and cell death, how this family of proteins impact cell metabolism is just emerging. Unexpectedly, a transgenic mouse line (D2D) exhibited progressive glucose intolerance as a result of transgene insertion. Inverse PCR was used to identify the gene disruption in the D2D mice. This led to the discovery that Itpr1 is among the ten loci disrupted in chromosome 6. Itpr1 encodes for IP3R1, the most abundant IP3R isoform in mouse brain and also highly expressed in pancreatic β-cells. To study IP3R1 function in glucose metabolism, we used the Itpr1 heterozygous mutant mice, opt/+. Glucose homeostasis in male mice cohorts was examined by multiple approaches of metabolic phenotyping. Under regular diet, the opt/+ mice developed glucose intolerance but no insulin resistance. Decrease in second-phase glucose-stimulated blood insulin level was observed in opt/+ mice, accompanied by reduced β-cell mass and insulin content. Strikingly, when fed with high-fat diet, the opt/+ mice were more susceptible to the development of hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance. Collectively, our studies identify the gene Itpr1 being interrupted in the D2D mice and uncover a novel role of IP3R1 in regulation of in vivo glucose homeostasis and development of diet-induced diabetes.

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E Petitfrere, E Huet, H Sartelet, L Martiny, O Legue, and B Haye

TSH-treated pig thyroid cells reorganize into follicle-like structures and exhibit differentiated functions. TSH also induces a phosphotyrosine phosphatase (PTPase) activity evaluated by phosphorylated substrate hydrolysis. Incubation of thyrocytes with various concentrations of 8-bromo-cyclic AMP or forskolin induces an increase of PTPase activity in a dose-dependent manner. During the culture period, adenylyl cyclase sensitivity, protein binding iodine and PTPase activity progressively increase from the first to the fourth day of the culture. Chronic treatment with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) significantly inhibits PTPase activity during the first 24 h following PMA addition. GF 109203X, a specific inhibitor of protein kinase C, abolishes the inhibitory effect of PMA. Electrophoresis of membrane extracts allowed us to demonstrate a phosphatase activity at 111 kDa (p111). Vanadate inhibits this activity, indicating that p111 is a PTPase. This p111 is significantly reduced in PMA-treated cells. These data suggest that PTPase activity evidenced at 111 kDa is correlated with a differentiated state of primary cultured pig thyroid cells induced by TSH.

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Sachie Asamizu, Masaharu Urakaze, Chikaaki Kobashi, Manabu Ishiki, Amal Khalifa Norel Din, Shiho Fujisaka, Yukiko Kanatani, Agussalim Bukahari, Satoko Senda, Hikari Suzuki, Yuh Yamazaki, Minoru Iwata, Isao Usui, Katsuya Yamazaki, Hirofumi Ogawa, Masashi Kobayashi, and Kazuyuki Tobe

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F Gaytan, C Morales, C Bellido, R Aguilar, Y Millan, J Martin De Las Mulas, and JE Sanchez-Criado

Preovulatory surges of both prolactin (PRL) and progesterone have been suggested to be necessary for the induction of apoptosis in the regressing corpus luteum of the cyclic rat. The aim of these experiments was to study whether the administration of PRL and/or progesterone on the morning of pro-oestrus reproduces the regressive changes that happen in the cyclic corpus luteum (CL) during the transition from pro-oestrus to oestrus, and to analyse the temporal relationships between two characteristic features of structural luteolysis (luteal cell apoptosis and accumulation of macrophages). Cyclic rats (treated at 0900 h with an LHRH antagonist to block LH secretion) were injected at 1000 h with PRL and progesterone and killed at 0, 30, 60, 90 and 180 min after treatment. The number of apoptotic cells increased progressively from 60 min after treatment onward in hormone-treated rats, whereas the number of macrophages did not change throughout the period of time considered. Rats injected with PRL plus progesterone showed significantly greater numbers of apoptotic cells than those injected with PRL alone. The luteolytic effects of progesterone were in keeping with the presence of luteal endothelial cells showing progesterone receptor (PR) immunoreactivity in pro-oestrus. Treatment of rats during dioestrus and pro-oestrus with the specific antioestrogens LY117018 and RU58668 decreased the luteolytic effects of PRL and progesterone and the number of luteal endothelial cells immunostained for PR. These results strongly suggest that the preovulatory PRL surge and the preovulatory increase in progesterone together trigger structural regression of the corpus luteum. This seems to be dependent on oestrogen-driven cyclic changes in PRs in luteal endothelial cells.

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G Li, Y Zhang, JT Wilsey, and PJ Scarpace

The effects of the chronic activation of the central melanocortin (MC) system by melanotan II (MTII) were assessed in chow-fed (CH) and high-fat (HF) diet-induced obese (DIO) Sprague-Dawley rats. Six-day central infusion of MTII (1 nmol/day) reduced body weight and visceral adiposity compared with ad libitum-fed control and pair-fed groups and markedly suppressed caloric intake in both CH and DIO rats. The anorexic response to MTII was similar in DIO relative to CH rats. MTII induced a sustained increase in oxygen consumption in DIO but a delayed response in CH rats. In both diet groups, MTII reduced serum insulin and cholesterol levels compared with controls. HF feeding increased brown adipose tissue (BAT) uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) by over twofold, and UCP1 levels were further elevated in MTII-treated CH and DIO rats. MTII lowered acetyl-CoA carboxylase expression and prevented the reduction in muscle-type carnitine palmitoyltransferase I mRNA by pair-feeding in the muscle of DIO rats. Compared with CH controls, hypothalamic MC3 and MC4 receptor expression levels were reduced in DIO controls. This study has demonstrated that, despite reduced hypothalamic MC3/MC4 receptor expression, anorexic and thermogenic responses to MTII are unabated with an initial augmentation of energy expenditure in DIO versus CH rats. The HF-induced up-regulation of UCP1 in BAT may contribute to the immediate increase in MTII-stimulated thermogenesis in DIO rats. MTII also increased fat catabolism in the muscle of DIO rats and improved glucose and cholesterol metabolism in both groups.

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A Shirakami, T Toyonaga, K Tsuruzoe, T Shirotani, K Matsumoto, K Yoshizato, J Kawashima, Y Hirashima, N Miyamura, CR Kahn, and E Araki

Insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1) gene polymorphisms have been identified in type 2 diabetic patients; however, it is unclear how such polymorphisms contribute to the development of diabetes. Here we introduced obesity in heterozygous IRS-1 knockout (IRS-1(+/-)) mice by gold-thioglucose (GTG) injection and studied the impact of reduced IRS-1 expression on obesity-linked insulin resistance. GTG injection resulted in approximately 30% weight gain in IRS-1(+/-) and wild type (WT) mice, compared with saline-injected controls. There was no difference in insulin sensitivity between lean IRS-1(+/-) and lean WT. Elevated fasting insulin levels but no change in fasting glucose were noted in obese IRS-1(+/-) and WT compared with the respective lean controls. Importantly, fasting insulin in obese IRS-1(+/-) was 1.5-fold higher (P<0.05) than in obese WT, and an insulin tolerance test showed a profound insulin resistance in obese IRS-1(+/-) compared with obese WT. The islets of obese IRS-1(+/-) were 1.4-fold larger than those of obese WT. The expression of insulin receptor and IRS-1 and IRS-2 was decreased in obese IRS-1(+/-), which could in part explain the profound insulin resistance in these mice. Our results suggest that IRS-1 is the suspected gene for type 2 diabetes and its polymorphisms could worsen insulin resistance in the presence of other additional factors, such as obesity.

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EM Caraher, SJ Conroy, and P Newsholme

In this paper we report the concentration of terminal complement complexes (TCCs, SC5b-9, an index of complement activation) in newly diagnosed insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) patient serum and normal human serum. In the nine patients studied, levels of serum soluble TCCs were approximately 1.6-fold higher than in sera obtained from normal control individuals. On incubation of rat islet cells with diluted serum (10%, v/v, concentration), complement activation was increased at a significantly faster rate and the total TCC concentration was significantly higher in culture medium containing IDDM patient serum than in medium containing control serum. The concentration of anti-(glutamic acid decarboxylase) autoantibodies in newly diagnosed IDDM patient serum was on average 60-fold higher than in normal human control serum. IDDM patient serum (10%, v/v) induced apoptosis in islet cells, as determined by islet cell density changes and DNA fragmentation patterns. However, serum from IDDM patients was not able to induce apoptosis of the cells when complement components (C1q and C3) or antibodies were depleted. In addition, glutamine and the potent antioxidant 1-pyrrolidinecarbodithioic acid partially reversed cell death induced by IDDM patient serum in a concentration-dependent manner. The ATP concentration in islet cells incubated for 24 h in the presence of diluted IDDM patient serum was reduced to 4.4% of that observed in islet cells incubated in fetal calf serum or 7.3% of that observed in islet cells incubated in normal human serum. On the basis of these observations, we suggest that the pathway of IDDM patient serum-induced islet cell apoptosis may involve antibody-dependent complement activation, free radical generation and a precipitous fall in ATP levels.

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Hideyuki Takahashi, Yohei Kurose, Muneyuki Sakaida, Yoshihiro Suzuki, Shigeki Kobayashi, Toshihisa Sugino, Masayasu Kojima, Kenji Kangawa, Yoshihisa Hasegawa, and Yoshiaki Terashima

ghrelin enhance glucose-induced insulin release from perfused rat pancreas ( Dezaki et al. 2006 ). In humans, ghrelin has been shown to cause hyperglycemia by reducing insulin secretion ( Broglio et al. 2001 ). These discrepancies among the effects of