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Free access

Cathy A Guo and Shaodong Guo

The heart is an insulin-dependent and energy-consuming organ in which insulin and nutritional signaling integrates to the regulation of cardiac metabolism, growth and survival. Heart failure is highly associated with insulin resistance, and heart failure patients suffer from the cardiac energy deficiency and structural and functional dysfunction. Chronic pathological conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, involve various mechanisms in promoting heart failure by remodeling metabolic pathways, modulating cardiac energetics and impairing cardiac contractility. Recent studies demonstrated that insulin receptor substrates 1 and 2 (IRS-1,-2) are major mediators of both insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling responsible for myocardial energetics, structure, function and organismal survival. Importantly, the insulin receptor substrates (IRS) play an important role in the activation of the phosphatidylinositide-3-dependent kinase (PI-3K) that controls Akt and Foxo1 signaling cascade, regulating the mitochondrial function, cardiac energy metabolism and the renin–angiotensin system. Dysregulation of this branch in signaling cascades by insulin resistance in the heart through the endocrine system promotes heart failure, providing a novel mechanism for diabetic cardiomyopathy. Therefore, targeting this branch of IRS→PI-3K→Foxo1 signaling cascade and associated pathways may provide a fundamental strategy for the therapeutic and nutritional development in control of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. In this review, we focus on insulin signaling and resistance in the heart and the role energetics play in cardiac metabolism, structure and function.

Free access

Noriko Tagawa, Ryosuke Yuda, Sayaka Kubota, Midori Wakabayashi, Yuko Yamaguchi, Daisuke Kiyonaga, Natsuko Mori, Erika Minamitani, Hiroaki Masuzaki, and Yoshiharu Kobayashi

17β-Estradiol (E2) serves as an anti-obesity steroid; however, the mechanism underlying this effect has not been fully clarified. The effect of E2 on adipocytes opposes that of glucocorticoids, which potentiate adipogenesis and anabolic lipid metabolism. The key to the intracellular activation of glucocorticoid in adipocytes is 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1), which catalyses the production of active glucocorticoids (cortisol in humans and corticosterone in rodents) from inactive 11-keto steroids (cortisone in humans and 11-dehydrocorticosterone in rodents). Using differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes, we showed that E2 inhibited 11β-HSD1 activity. Estrogen receptor (ER) antagonists, ICI-182 780 and tamoxifen, failed to reverse this inhibition. A significant inhibitory effect of E2 on 11β-HSD1 activity was observed within 5–10 min. Furthermore, acetylation or α-epimerization of 17-hydroxy group of E2 attenuated the inhibitory effect on 11β-HSD1. These results indicate that the inhibition of 11β-HSD1 by E2 depends on neither an ER-dependent route, transcriptional pathway nor non-specific fashion. Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, which provides the cofactor NADPH for full activation of 11β-HSD1, was unaffected by E2. A kinetic study revealed that E2 acted as a non-competitive inhibitor of 11β-HSD1. The inhibitory effect of E2 on 11β-HSD1 was reproduced in adipocytes isolated from rat mesenteric fat depots. This is the first demonstration that E2 inhibits 11β-HSD1, thereby providing a novel insight into the anti-obesity mechanism of estrogen.

Free access

Suwattanee Kooptiwut, Wanthanee Hanchang, Namoiy Semprasert, Mutita Junking, Thawornchai Limjindaporn, and Pa-thai Yenchitsomanus

Hypogonadism in men is associated with an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes. Supplementation with testosterone has been shown to protect pancreatic β-cell against apoptosis due to toxic substances including streptozotocin and high glucose. One of the pathological mechanisms of glucose-induced pancreatic β-cell apoptosis is the induction of the local rennin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS). The role of testosterone in regulation of the pancreatic RAAS is still unknown. This study aims to investigate the protective action of testosterone against glucotoxicity-induced pancreatic β-cell apoptosis via alteration of the pancreatic RAAS pathway. Rat insulinoma cell line (INS-1) cells or isolated male mouse islets were cultured in basal and high-glucose media in the presence or absence of testosterone, losartan, and angiotensin II (Ang II), then cell apoptosis, cleaved caspase 3 expression, oxidative stress, and expression of angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AGTR1) and p47phox mRNA and protein were measured. Testosterone and losartan showed similar effects in reducing pancreatic β-cell apoptosis. Testosterone significantly reduced expression of AGTR1 protein in INS-1 cells cultured in high-glucose medium or high-glucose medium with Ang II. Testosterone decreased the expression of AGTR1 and p47phox mRNA and protein in comparison with levels in cells cultured in high-glucose medium alone. Furthermore, testosterone attenuated superoxide production when co-cultured with high-glucose medium. In contrast, when cultured in basal glucose, supplementation of testosterone did not have any effect on cell apoptosis, oxidative stress, and expression of AGT1R and p47phox. In addition, high-glucose medium did not increase cleaved caspase 3 in AGTR1 knockdown experiments. Thus, our results indicated that testosterone prevents pancreatic β-cell apoptosis due to glucotoxicity through reduction of the expression of ATGR1 and its signaling pathway.

Restricted access

Ziping Jiang, Junduo Wu, Fuzhe Ma, Jun Jiang, Linlin Xu, Lei Du, Wenlin Huang, Zhaohui Wang, Ye Jia, Laijin Lu, and Hao Wu

Over a half of the diabetic individuals develop macrovascular complications that cause high mortality. Oxidative stress (OS) promotes endothelial dysfunction (ED) which is a critical early step toward diabetic macrovascular complications. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) is a master regulator of cellular antioxidant defense system and combats diabetes-induced OS. Previously, we found that impaired NRF2 antioxidant signaling contributed to diabetes-induced endothelial OS and dysfunction in mice. The present study has investigated the effect of microRNA-200a (miR-200a) on NRF2 signaling and diabetic ED. In aortic endothelial cells (ECs) isolated from C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) mice, high glucose (HG) reduced miR-200a levels and increased the expression of kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) – a target of miR-200a and a negative regulator of NRF2. This led to the inactivation of NRF2 signaling and exacerbation of OS and inflammation. miR-200a mimic (miR-200a-M) or inhibitor modulated KEAP1/NRF2 antioxidant signaling and manipulated OS and inflammation under HG conditions. These effects were completely abolished by knockdown of Keap1, indicating that Keap1 mRNA is a major target of miR-200a. Moreover, the protective effect of miR-200a-M was completely abrogated in aortic ECs isolated from C57BL/6 Nrf2 knockout (KO) mice, demonstrating that NRF2 is required for miR-200a’s actions. In vivo, miR-200a-M inhibited aortic Keap1 expression, activated NRF2 signaling, and attenuated hyperglycemia-induced OS, inflammation and ED in the WT, but not Nrf2 KO, mice. Therefore, the present study has uncovered miR-200a/KEAP1/NRF2 signaling that controls aortic endothelial antioxidant capacity, which protects against diabetic ED.

Free access

Junhong Chen, Jing Sun, Michelle E Doscas, Jin Ye, Ashley J Williamson, Yanchun Li, Yi Li, Richard A Prinz, and Xiulong Xu

p70 S6 kinase (S6K1) is a serine/threonine kinase that phosphorylates the insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) at serine 1101 and desensitizes insulin receptor signaling. S6K1 hyperactivation due to overnutrition leads to hyperglycemia and type 2 diabetes. Our recent study showed that A77 1726, the active metabolite of the anti-rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drug leflunomide, is an inhibitor of S6K1. Whether leflunomide can control hyperglycemia and sensitize the insulin receptor has not been tested. Here we report that A77 1726 increased AKTS473/T308 and S6K1T389 phosphorylation but decreased S6S235/236 and IRS-1S1101 phosphorylation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, C2C12 and L6 myotubes. A77 1726 increased insulin receptor tyrosine phosphorylation and binding of the p85 subunit of the PI-3 kinase to IRS-1. A77 1726 enhanced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in L6 myotubes and 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and enhanced insulin-stimulated glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) translocation to the plasma membrane of L6 cells. Finally, we investigated the anti-hyperglycemic effect of leflunomide on ob/ob and high-fat diet (HFD)-induced diabetes mouse models. Leflunomide treatment normalized blood glucose levels and overcame insulin resistance in glucose and insulin tolerance tests in ob/ob and HFD-fed mice but had no effect on mice fed a normal chow diet (NCD). Leflunomide treatment increased AKTS473/T308 phosphorylation in the fat and muscle of ob/ob mice but not in normal mice. Our results suggest that leflunomide sensitizes the insulin receptor by inhibiting S6K1 activity in vitro, and that leflunomide could be potentially useful for treating patients with both RA and diabetes.

Free access

Matthew E Picha, Marc J Turano, Christian K Tipsmark, and Russell J Borski

Compensatory growth (CG) is a period of growth acceleration that exceeds normal rates after animals are alleviated of certain growth-stunting conditions. In hybrid striped bass (HSB, Morone chrysops×Morone saxatilis), 3 weeks of complete feed restriction results in a catabolic state that, when relieved, renders a subsequent phase of CG. The catabolic state was characterized by depressed levels of hepatic Type I and II GH receptor (ghr1, ghr2) and igf1 mRNA, along with considerable decreases in plasma Igf1. The state of catabolism also resulted in significant declines in hepatic igf2 mRNA and in circulating 40 kDa Igf-binding protein (Igfbp). Skeletal muscle expression of ghr2 mRNA was significantly increased. Upon realimentation, specific growth rates (SGRs) were significantly higher than sized-matched controls, indicating a period of CG. Hepatic ghr1, ghr2, igf1 and igf2 mRNA levels along with plasma Igf1 and 40 kDa Igfbp increased rapidly during realimentation. Plasma Igf1 and total hepatic igf2 mRNA were significantly correlated to SGR throughout the study. Skeletal muscle igf1 mRNA also increased tenfold during CG. These data suggest that endocrine and paracrine/autocrine components of the GH–Igf axis, namely igf1, igf2, and ghr1 and ghr2, may be involved in CG responses in HSB, with several of the gene expression variables exceeding normal levels during CG. We also demonstrate that normalization of hepatic mRNA as a function of total liver production, rather than as a fraction of total RNA, may be a more biologically appropriate method of quantifying hepatic gene expression when using real-time PCR.

Free access

J Claustre, S Brechet, P Plaisancie, JA Chayvialle, and JC Cuber

Postprandial release of peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) from L cells results from both nutrient transit in the ileal lumen and neural drive of endocrine cells. The adrenosympathetic system and its effectors have been shown to induce secretion of L cells in vivo or in vitro. Because these transmitters act through three receptors, beta, alpha1, alpha2, coupled to different intracellular pathways, we evaluated the responses of L cells to specific agonists, using the model of isolated vascularly perfused rat ileum. General stimulation of adrenergic receptors with epinephrine (10(-7) M) induced significant GLP-1 and PYY secretions (94+/-38 and 257+/-59 fmol/8 min respectively) which were abolished upon propranolol (10(-7) M) pretreatment and strongly decreased upon infusion with 10(-8) M prazosin. Blockade of alpha2-receptors with idazoxan (10(-8) M) did not alter epinephrine-induced peptide secretion. The beta-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol (10(-6) M) infused for 30 min induced a transient release of GLP-1 and PYY (integrated release over the 8 min of the peak secretion: 38+/-16 and 214+/-69 fmol for GLP-1 and PYY respectively, P<0.05). Because terbutaline but not dobutamine or BRL 37,344 (10(-5) M) induced significant GLP-1 and PYY secretions (135+/-30 and 305+/-39 fmol/8 min respectively), isoproterenol-induced secretions are suggested to result mainly from stimulation of the beta2-isoreceptor type. In contrast, the alpha1-agonist phenylephrine (10(-7) M) did not stimulate peptide release. When co-infused with 10(-6) M or 10(-7) M isoproterenol, 10(-7) M phenylephrine raised GLP-1 release to 174+/-53 and 108+/-28 fmol/8 min respectively (vs 38+/-16 and 35+/-10 fmol/8 min for isoproterenol alone, P<0.05) whereas PYY secretion was not significantly increased. Clonidine (10(-7) M), an alpha2-agonist, induced a moderate and delayed increase of GLP-1 and PYY but abolished the isoproterenol-induced peptide secretion. Our results showed that general stimulation of adrenergic receptors stimulates the secretory activity of ileal endocrine L cells. The net peptide secretion results from the activation of the beta2-isoreceptor type. Additionally, GLP-1 and PYY secretions are positively modulated by alpha1-receptor stimulation and inhibited by alpha2-receptor activation upon beta-receptor occupation.

Free access

R Wang, N Yashpal, F Bacchus, and J Li

Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) has been suggested to be a potent regulator of β-cell function and proliferation. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether HGF could regulate the proliferation and differentiation of islet-derived epithelial monolayers into insulin-producing cells. We have generated islet-derived epithelial monolayers that are enriched with cells expressing c-Kit, a tyrosine kinase receptor and putative marker, from isolated postnatal rat islets. Monolayers were cultured on type I collagen gel and treated in defined differentiation medium with or without HGF (50 ng/ml) for 7 days. Subsequently, the expression of transcription factors and pancreatic endocrine cell markers as well as c-Kit expression were compared between the HGF (HGF+), no HGF treatment (HGF) and monolayers without differentiation medium (control) groups, using immunocytochemical and RT-PCR approaches. We observed that the number of c-Kit-, glucose transport type 2 (Glut2)- and the transcription factor pancreatic duodenal homeobox-1 (PDX-1)-expressing cells were significantly increased in the HGF+ group. The expression of insulin at the mRNA and protein level was also increased in this treatment group with a 1.7-fold increase in basal insulin release and a 2.3-fold increase in insulin content in comparison with the HGF group. A high proliferative capacity was also found in the HGF+ group. Co-localization of insulin and PDX-1 or Glut2 was revealed frequently in cells treated with HGF+ with occasional co-staining of c-Kit and insulin observed. This study showed that HGF can activate the proliferation and differentiation of islet-derived epithelial monolayer into insulin-producing cells. However, no formation of islet-like clusters was observed. Taken together, this study implies that HGF mediates differentiation of immature cell types into insulin-expressing cells; however, HGF supplementation alone is insuffcient in restoring full β-cell function.

Free access

Andreas Börjesson and Carina Carlsson

In order to elucidate a possible relationship between β-cell function and conversion of proinsulin to insulin, isolated rat pancreatic islets were maintained in tissue culture for 1 week at various glucose concentrations (5.6–56 mM). Studies were also conducted on islets cultured for 48 h with interleukin-1β (IL-1β). By pulse-chase labelling and immunoprecipitation, the relative contents of newly synthesized proinsulin and insulin were determined. ELISA was used to analyse insulin and proinsulin content in medium and within islets. Using real-time PCR, the mRNA levels of proinsulin converting enzymes (PC1 and PC2) were studied. Islets cultured at 56 mM glucose had an increased proportion of newly synthesized proinsulin when compared with islets cultured at 5.6 mM glucose after a 90-min chase periods, however, no difference was observed after culture at 11 and 28 mM glucose. ELISA measurements revealed that culture at increased glucose concentrations as well as islet exposure to IL-1β increased proinsulin accumulation in the culture media. The mRNA expression of PC1 was increased after culture at 11 and 28 mM glucose. Treatment for 48 h with IL-1β increased the proportion of proinsulin both at 45 and 90 min when compared with control islets. These islets also displayed a decreased mRNA level of PC1 as well as PC2. Calculations of the half-time for proinsulin demonstrated a significant prolongation after treatment with IL-1β. We conclude that a sustained functional stimulation by glucose of islets is coupled to a decreased conversion of proinsulin which is also true for islets treated with IL-1β. This may contribute to the elevated levels of proinsulin found both at the onset of type 1 diabetes as well as in type 2 diabetes.

Free access

Z H Liu, K Tsuchida, T Matsuzaki, Y L Bao, A Kurisaki, and H Sugino

Activin type II receptors (ActRIIs) including ActRIIA and ActRIIB are serine/threonine kinase receptors that form complexes with type I receptors to transmit intracellular signaling of activins, nodal, myostatin and a subset of bone morphogenetic proteins. ActRIIs are unique among serine/threonine kinase receptors in that they associate with proteins having PSD-95, Discs large and ZO-1 (PDZ) domains. In our previous studies, we reported specific interactions of ActRIIs with two independent PDZ proteins named activin receptor-interacting proteins 1 and 2 (ARIP1 and ARIP2). Overexpression of both ARIP1 and ARIP2 reduce activin-induced transcription. Here, we report the isolation of two isoforms of ARIP2 named ARIP2b and 2c. ARIP2, ARIP2b and ARIP2c recognize COOH-terminal residues of ActRIIA that match a PDZ-binding consensus motif. ARIP2 and its isoforms have one PDZ domain in the NH2-terminal region, and interact with ActRIIA. Although PDZ domains containing GLGF motifs of ARIP2b and 2c are identical to that of ARIP2, their COOH-terminal sequences differ from that of ARIP2. Interestingly, unlike ARIP2, overexpression of ARIP2b or 2c did not affect ActRIIA internalization. ARIP2b/2c inhibit inhibitory actions of ARIP2 on activin signaling. ARIP2 is widely distributed in mouse tissues. ARIP2b/2c is expressed in more restricted tissues such as heart, brain, kidneys and liver. Our results indicate that although both ARIP2 and ARIP2b/2c interact with activin receptors, they regulate ActRIIA function in a different manner.