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C Y Shan, J H Yang, Y Kong, X Y Wang, M Y Zheng, Y G Xu, Y Wang, H Z Ren, B C Chang, and L M Chen

For centuries, Berberine has been used in the treatment of enteritis in China, and it is also known to have anti-hyperglycemic effects in type 2 diabetic patients. However, as Berberine is insoluble and rarely absorbed in gastrointestinal tract, the mechanism by which it works is unclear. We hypothesized that it may act locally by ameliorating intestinal barrier abnormalities and endotoxemia. A high-fat diet combined with low-dose streptozotocin was used to induce type 2 diabetes in male Sprague Dawley rats. Berberine (100 mg/kg) was administered by lavage to diabetic rats for 2 weeks and saline was given to controls. Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance improved in the Berberine group, although there was no significant decrease in blood glucose. Berberine treatment also led to a notable restoration of intestinal villi/mucosa structure and less infiltration of inflammatory cells, along with a decrease in plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS) level. Tight junction protein zonula occludens 1 (ZO1) was also decreased in diabetic rats but was restored by Berberine treatment. Glutamine-induced glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP2) secretion from ileal tissue decreased dramatically in the diabetic group but was restored by Berberine treatment. Fasting insulin, insulin resistance index, plasma LPS level, and ZO1 expression were significantly correlated with GLP2 level. In type 2 diabetic rats, Berberine treatment not only augments GLP2 secretion and improves diabetes but is also effective in repairing the damaged intestinal mucosa, restoring intestinal permeability, and improving endotoxemia. Whether these effects are mechanistically related will require further studies, but they certainly support the hypothesis that Berberine acts via modulation of intestinal function.

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Maaike M Roefs, Françoise Carlotti, Katherine Jones, Hannah Wills, Alexander Hamilton, Michael Verschoor, Joanna M Williams Durkin, Laura Garcia-Perez, Melissa F Brereton, Laura McCulloch, Marten A Engelse, Paul R V Johnson, Barbara C Hansen, Kevin Docherty, Eelco J P de Koning, and Anne Clark

Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is associated with pancreatic islet dysfunction. Loss of β-cell identity has been implicated via dedifferentiation or conversion to other pancreatic endocrine cell types. How these transitions contribute to the onset and progression of T2DM in vivo is unknown. The aims of this study were to determine the degree of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition occurring in α and β cells in vivo and to relate this to diabetes-associated (patho)physiological conditions. The proportion of islet cells expressing the mesenchymal marker vimentin was determined by immunohistochemistry and quantitative morphometry in specimens of pancreas from human donors with T2DM (n = 28) and without diabetes (ND, n = 38) and in non-human primates at different stages of the diabetic syndrome: normoglycaemic (ND, n = 4), obese, hyperinsulinaemic (HI, n = 4) and hyperglycaemic (DM, n = 8). Vimentin co-localised more frequently with glucagon (α-cells) than with insulin (β-cells) in the human ND group (1.43% total α-cells, 0.98% total β-cells, median; P < 0.05); these proportions were higher in T2DM than ND (median 4.53% α-, 2.53% β-cells; P < 0.05). Vimentin-positive β-cells were not apoptotic, had reduced expression of Nkx6.1 and Pdx1, and were not associated with islet amyloidosis or with bihormonal expression (insulin + glucagon). In non-human primates, vimentin-positive β-cell proportion was larger in the diabetic than the ND group (6.85 vs 0.50%, medians respectively, P < 0.05), but was similar in ND and HI groups. In conclusion, islet cell expression of vimentin indicates a degree of plasticity and dedifferentiation with potential loss of cellular identity in diabetes. This could contribute to α- and β-cell dysfunction in T2DM.

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R. C. Bonney, S. T. Qizilbash, and S. Franks

ABSTRACT

The inhibition of endometrial phospholipase A2 activity by the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents mefenamic acid and indomethacin was studied over the concentration range 1 mmol/l–0·1 μmol/l. Both phospholipase A2 type 1 (a calcium-dependent enzyme) and phospholipase A2 type 2 (a calciumindependent enzyme) were inhibited by mefenamic acid, but the magnitude of the inhibition was dependent on calcium concentration. Phospholipase A2 type 1 was inhibited 50% by 10 μmol mefenamic acid/1 in the presence of 1·25–5 mmol calcium/l, but a concentration of 2·2 mmol mefenamic acid/l was required for 50% inhibition in the absence of calcium. On the other hand, phospholipase A2 type 2 was inhibited 50% by 22 μmol mefenamic acid/1 in the absence of calcium and by 100 μmol mefenamic acid/l in the presence of calcium (2·5 mmol/l). Although indomethacin was a less effective inhibitor of phospholipase A2 activity, a similar relationship with calcium was demonstrated. However, indomethacin also had a stimulatory effect on phospholipase A2 type 1 activity in the absence of calcium. Our findings suggest that the two endometrial enzymes may be inhibited by different mechanisms and that the dependence of the enzyme on calcium for activation may be a contributing factor.

J. Endocr. (1988) 119, 141–145

Free access

G Üçkaya, P Delagrange, A Chavanieu, G Grassy, M-F Berthault, A Ktorza, E Cerasi, G Leibowitz, and N Kaiser

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogues are considered potential drugs for type 2 diabetes. We studied the effect of a novel GLP-1 analogue, S 23521 ([a8-des R36] GLP-1-[7–37]-NH2), on the metabolic state and β-cell function, proliferation and survival in the Psammomys obesus model of diet-induced type 2 diabetes. Animals with marked hyperglycaemia after 6 days of high-energy diet were given twice-daily s.c. injection of 100 μg/kg S 23521 for 15 days. Food intake was significantly decreased in S 23251-treated P. obesus; however, there was no significant difference in body weight from controls. Progressive worsening of hyperglycaemia was noted in controls, as opposed to maintenance of pre-treatment glucose levels in the S 23521 group. Prevention of diabetes progression was associated with reduced mortality. In addition, the treated group had higher serum insulin, insulinogenic index and leptin, whereas plasma triglyceride and non-esterified fatty acid levels were decreased. S 23521 had pronounced effect on pancreatic insulin, which was 5-fold higher than the markedly depleted insulin reserve of control animals. Immunohistochemical analysis showed islet degranulation with disrupted morphology in untreated animals, whereas islets from S 23521-treated animals appeared intact and filled with insulin; β-cell apoptosis was approximately 70% reduced, without a change in β-cell proliferation. S 23521 treatment resulted in a 2-fold increase in relative β-cell volume. Overall, S 23521 prevented the progression of diabetes in P. obesus with marked improvement of the metabolic profile, including increased pancreatic insulin reserve, β-cell viability and mass. These effects are probably due to actions of S 23521 both directly on islets and via reduced food intake, and emphasize the feasibility of preventing blood glucose deterioration over time in type 2 diabetes.

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LM Thurston, E Chin, KC Jonas, IJ Bujalska, PM Stewart, DR Abayasekara, and AE Michael

In a range of tIssues, cortisol is inter-converted with cortisone by 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11betaHSD). To date, two isoforms of 11betaHSD have been cloned. Previous studies have shown that human granulosa cells express type 2 11betaHSD mRNA during the follicular phase of the ovarian cycle, switching to type 1 11betaHSD mRNA expression as luteinization occurs. However, it is not known whether protein expression, and 11betaHSD enzyme activities reflect this reported pattern of mRNA expression. Hence, the aims of the current study were to investigate the expression and activities of 11betaHSD proteins in luteinizing human granulosa-lutein (hGL) cells. Luteinizing hGL cells were cultured for up to 3 days with enzyme activities (11beta-dehydrogenase (11betaDH) and 11-ketosteroid reductase (11 KSR)) and protein expression (type 1 and type 2 11betaHSD) assessed on each day of culture. In Western blots, an immunopurified type 1 11betaHSD antibody recognized a band of 38 kDa in hGL cells and in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells stably transfected with human type 1 11betaHSD. The type 2 11betaHSD antibody recognized a band of 48 kDa in HEK cells transfected with human type 2 11betaHSD cDNA but the type 2 protein was not expressed in hGL cells throughout the 3 days of culture. While the expression of type 1 11betaHSD protein increased progressively by 2.7-fold over 3 days as hGL cells luteinized, both 11betaDH and reductase activities declined (by 52.9% and 34.2%; P<0.05) over this same period. Changes in enzyme expression and activity were unaffected by the suppression of ovarian steroid synthesis.

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Akhilesh K Pandey, Wei Li, Xiangling Yin, Douglas M Stocco, Paula Grammas, and XingJia Wang

Previous studies have reported the roles of Ca2+ in steroidogenesis. The present study has investigated an inhibitory effect of Ca2+ influx through L-type Ca2+ channels on gene expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory (STAR) protein that regulates the transfer of substrate cholesterol to the inner mitochondrial membrane for steroidogenesis. Blocking Ca2+ influx through L-type Ca2+ channels using the selective Ca2+ channel blocker, nifedipine, markedly enhanced cAMP-induced STAR protein expression and progesterone production in MA-10 mouse Leydig cells. This was confirmed by utilization of different L-type Ca2+ channel blockers. Reverse transcription-PCR analyses of Star mRNA and luciferase assays of Star promoter activity indicated that blocking Ca2+ influx through L-type Ca2+ channels acted at the level of Star gene transcription. Further studies showed that blocking the Ca2+ channel enhanced Star gene transcription by depressing the expression of DAX-1 (NR0B1 as listed in the MGI Database) protein, a transcriptional repressor of Star gene expression. It was also observed that there is a synergistic interaction between nifedipine and cAMP. Normally, sub-threshold levels of cAMP are unable to induce steroidogenesis, but in the presence of the L-type Ca2+ channel blocker, they increased STAR protein and steroid hormone to the maximal levels. However, in the absence of minimal levels of cAMP, none of the L-type Ca2+ channel blockers are able to induce Star gene expression. These observations indicate that Ca2+ influx through L-type Ca2+ channels is involved in an inhibitory effect on Star gene expression. Blocking L-type Ca2+ channel attenuated the inhibition and reduced the threshold of cAMP-induced Star gene expression in Leydig cells.

Restricted access

C. M. Ayling, B. H. Moreland, J. M. Zanelli, and D. Schulster

ABSTRACT

The studies describe alterations after hypophysectomy in the proportion of the type-1 and type-2 fibres in rat skeletal muscles, and the effects of replacement treatment with pituitary human (h) GH.

Cytochemical analysis of myosin ATPase, succinate dehydrogenase and lactate dehydrogenase activities in sections of rat hind limb muscles were used as markers of fibre type and revealed that hypophysectomy reduced the proportion of type-1 fibres by 50% in soleus and in extensor digitorum longus muscles. This reduction in the proportion of type-1 fibres was accompanied by the appearance of transitional fibres (type 2C/1B).

Following seven daily injections of hGH (60 mIU/day) to hypophysectomized rats, the proportion of type-1 fibres in both soleus and in extensor digitorum longus was increased with a concomitant reduction in the number of transitional fibres. After 11 days of treatment, all these transitional fibres had reverted back to type-1 fibres. Only hGH was observed to elicit this effect; injections of other pituitary hormones had no effect on the proportions of these transitional fibres.

These alterations in fibre type occurred more rapidly than the changes reported after prolonged electrical stimulation of muscle or following extended exercise.

These findings suggest that hypophysectomy and GH injection can result in a rapid alteration in the fibre composition of skeletal muscle, which may have important implications in terms of the resistance to fatigue and speed of contraction of the muscle.

Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 123, 429–435

Free access

Hongbin Liu, Anthony E Dear, Lotte B Knudsen, and Richard W Simpson

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) administration attenuates endothelial cell dysfunction in diabetic patients and inhibits tumour necrosis factor α (TNF)-mediated plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) induction in human vascular endothelial cells. The short half-life of GLP-1 mediated via degradation by the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase 4 mandates the clinical use of long-acting GLP-1 analogues. The effects of a long-acting GLP-1 analogue on PAI-1 and vascular adhesion molecule expression in vascular endothelial cells are unknown. In this report, we demonstrate for the first time that the treatment with liraglutide, a long-acting GLP-1 analogue, inhibited TNF or hyperglycaemia-mediated induction of PAI-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 mRNA and protein expression in a human vascular endothelial cell line. In addition, treatment attenuated TNF- or hyperglycaemia-mediated induction of the orphan nuclear receptor Nur77 mRNA expression. Taken together, these observations indicate that liraglutide inhibits TNF- or glucose-mediated induction of PAI-1 and vascular adhesion molecule expression, and this effect may involve the modulation of NUR77. These effects suggest that liraglutide may potentially improve the endothelial cell dysfunction associated with premature atherosclerosis identified in type 2 diabetic patients.

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Xiaofeng Wang and Catherine B Chan

n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are a subgroup of fatty acids with broad health benefits, such as lowering blood triglycerides and decreasing the risk of some types of cancer. A beneficial effect of n-3 PUFAs in diabetes is indicated by results from some studies. Defective insulin secretion is a fundamental pathophysiological change in both types 1 and 2 diabetes. Emerging studies have provided evidence of a connection between n-3 PUFAs and improved insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells. This review summarizes the recent findings in this regard and discusses the potential mechanisms by which n-3 PUFAs influence insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells.

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Guillaume Mabilleau, Marie Pereira, and Chantal Chenu

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) leads to bone fragility and predisposes to increased risk of fracture, poor bone healing and other skeletal complications. In addition, some anti-diabetic therapies for T2DM can have notable detrimental skeletal effects. Thus, an appropriate therapeutic strategy for T2DM should not only be effective in re-establishing good glycaemic control but also in minimising skeletal complications. There is increasing evidence that glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs), now greatly prescribed for the treatment of T2DM, have beneficial skeletal effects although the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. This review provides an overview of the direct and indirect effects of GLP-1RAs on bone physiology, focusing on bone quality and novel mechanisms of action on the vasculature and hormonal regulation. The overall experimental studies indicate significant positive skeletal effects of GLP-1RAs on bone quality and strength although their mechanisms of actions may differ according to various GLP-1RAs and clinical studies supporting their bone protective effects are still lacking. The possibility that GLP-1RAs could improve blood supply to bone, which is essential for skeletal health, is of major interest and suggests that GLP-1 anti-diabetic therapy could benefit the rising number of elderly T2DM patients with osteoporosis and high fracture risk.