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Zhengu Liu, Violeta Stanojevic, Luke J Brindamour, and Joel F Habener

Type 2 diabetes, often associated with obesity, results from a deficiency of insulin production and action manifested in increased blood levels of glucose and lipids that further promote insulin resistance and impair insulin secretion. Glucolipotoxicity caused by elevated plasma glucose and lipid levels is a major cause of impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells, due to increased oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1), an insulinotropic glucoincretin hormone, is known to promote β-cell survival via its actions on its G-protein-coupled receptor on β-cells. Here, we report that a nonapeptide, GLP1(28–36)amide, derived from the C-terminal domain of the insulinotropic GLP1, exerts cytoprotective actions on INS-1 β-cells and on dispersed human islet cells in vitro in conditions of glucolipotoxicity and increased oxidative stress independently of the GLP1 receptor. The nonapeptide appears to enter preferably stressed, glucolipotoxic cells compared with normal unstressed cells. It targets mitochondria and improves impaired mitochondrial membrane potential, increases cellular ATP levels, inhibits cytochrome c release, caspase activation, and apoptosis, and enhances the viability and survival of INS-1 β-cells. We propose that GLP1(28–36)amide might be useful in alleviating β-cell stress and might improve β-cell functions and survival.

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Jennifer S ten Kulve, Dick J Veltman, Liselotte van Bloemendaal, Paul F C Groot, Henricus G Ruhé, Frederik Barkhof, Michaela Diamant, and Richard G Ijzerman

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) affects appetite, supposedly mediated via the central nervous system (CNS). In this study, we investigate whether modulation of CNS responses to palatable food consumption may be a mechanism by which GLP1 contributes to the central regulation of feeding. Using functional MRI, we determined the effects of endogenous GLP1 and treatment with the GLP1 analogue liraglutide on CNS activation to chocolate milk receipt. Study 1 included 20 healthy lean individuals and 20 obese patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Scans were performed on two occasions: during infusion of the GLP1 receptor antagonist exendin 9–39 (blocking actions of endogenous GLP1) and during placebo infusion. Study 2 was a randomised, cross-over intervention study carried out in 20 T2DM patients, comparing treatment with liraglutide to insulin, after 10 days and 12 weeks. Compared with lean individuals, T2DM patients showed reduced activation to chocolate milk in right insula (P = 0.04). In lean individuals, blockade of endogenous GLP1 effects inhibited activation in bilateral insula (P ≤ 0.03). Treatment in T2DM with liraglutide, vs insulin, increased activation to chocolate milk in right insula and caudate nucleus after 10 days (P ≤ 0.03); however, these effects ceased to be significant after 12 weeks. Our findings in healthy lean individuals indicate that endogenous GLP1 is involved in the central regulation of feeding by affecting central responsiveness to palatable food consumption. In obese T2DM, treatment with liraglutide may improve the observed deficit in responsiveness to palatable food, which may contribute to the induction of weight loss observed during treatment. However, no long-term effects of liraglutide were observed.

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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.

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Andréa M Caricilli, Paula H Nascimento, José R Pauli, Daniela M L Tsukumo, Lício A Velloso, José B Carvalheira, and Mário J A Saad

The aims of the present study were to investigate the expression of toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) in muscle and white adipose tissue (WAT) of diet-induced obesity (DIO) mice, and also the effects of its inhibition, with the use of TLR2 antisense oligonucleotide (ASON), on insulin sensitivity and signaling. The expression of TLR2 was increased in muscle and WAT of DIO mice, compared with those that received standard chow. Inhibition of TLR2 in DIO mice, by TLR2 ASON, improved insulin sensitivity and signaling in muscle and WAT. In addition, data show that the inhibition of TLR2 expression prevents the activation of IKBKB, MAPK8, and serine phosphorylation of IRS1 in DIO mice, suggesting that TLR2 is a key modulator of the crosstalk between inflammatory and metabolic pathways. We, therefore, suggest that a selective interference with TLR2 presents an attractive opportunity for the treatment of insulin resistance in obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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Martina Bugáňová, Helena Pelantová, Martina Holubová, Blanka Šedivá, Lenka Maletínská, Blanka Železná, Jaroslav Kuneš, Petr Kačer, Marek Kuzma, and Martin Haluzík

Liraglutide is the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist widely used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Recently, it has been demonstrated to decrease cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes and high cardiovascular risk. Although the major modes of liraglutide action are well-known, its detailed action at the metabolic level has not been studied. To this end, we explored the effect of 2-week liraglutide treatment in C57BL/6 male mice with obesity and diabetes induced by 13 weeks of high-fat diet using NMR spectroscopy to capture the changes in urine metabolic profile induced by the therapy. The liraglutide treatment decreased body and fat pads weight along with blood glucose and triglyceride levels. NMR spectroscopy identified 11 metabolites significantly affected by liraglutide treatment as compared to high-fat diet-fed control group. These metabolites included ones involved in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide metabolism, β-oxidation of fatty acids and microbiome changes. Although majority of the metabolites changed after liraglutide treatment were similar as the ones previously identified after vildagliptin administration in a similar mouse model, the changes in creatinine, taurine and trigonelline were specific for liraglutide administration. The significance of these changes and its possible use in the personalization of antidiabetic therapy in humans requires further research.

Free access

DR Brigstock

The CCN family comprises cysteine-rich 61 (CYR61/CCN1), connective tIssue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2), nephroblastoma overexpressed (NOV/CCN3), and Wnt-induced secreted proteins-1 (WISP-1/CCN4), -2 (WISP-2/CCN5) and -3 (WISP-3/CCN6). These proteins stimulate mitosis, adhesion, apoptosis, extracellular matrix production, growth arrest and migration of multiple cell types. Many of these activities probably occur through the ability of CCN proteins to bind and activate cell surface integrins. Accumulating evidence supports a role for these factors in endocrine pathways and endocrine-related processes. To illustrate the broad role played by the CCN family in basic and clinical endocrinology, this Article highlights the relationship between CCN proteins and hormone action, skeletal growth, placental angiogenesis, IGF-binding proteins and diabetes-induced fibrosis.

Free access

Jae Woo Jung, Chihoon Ahn, Sun Young Shim, Peter C Gray, Witek Kwiatkowski, and Senyon Choe

Activins and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) share activin type 2 signaling receptors but utilize different type 1 receptors and Smads. We designed AB215, a potent BMP2-like Activin A/BMP2 chimera incorporating the high-affinity type 2 receptor-binding epitope of Activin A. In this study, we compare the signaling properties of AB215 and BMP2 in HEK293T cells and gonadotroph LβT2 cells in which Activin A and BMP2 synergistically induce FSHβ. In HEK293T cells, AB215 is more potent than BMP2 and competitively blocks Activin A signaling, while BMP2 has a partial blocking activity. Activin A signaling is insensitive to BMP pathway antagonism in HEK293T cells but is strongly inhibited by constitutively active (CA) BMP type 1 receptors. By contrast, the potencies of AB215 and BMP2 are indistinguishable in LβT2 cells and although AB215 blocks Activin A signaling, BMP2 has no inhibitory effect. Unlike HEK293T, Activin A signaling is strongly inhibited by BMP pathway antagonism in LβT2 cells but is largely unaffected by CA BMP type 1 receptors. BMP2 increases phospho-Smad3 levels in LβT2 cells, in both the absence and the presence of Activin A treatment, and augments Activin A-induced FSHβ. AB215 has the opposite effect and sharply decreases basal phospho-Smad3 levels and blocks Smad2 phosphorylation and FSHβ induction resulting from Activin A treatment. These findings together demonstrate that while AB215 activates the BMP pathway, it has opposing effects to those of BMP2 on FSHβ induction in LβT2 cells apparently due to its ability to block Activin A signaling.

Free access

E Zoidis, C Ghirlanda-Keller, M Gosteli-Peter, J Zapf, and C Schmid

In osteoblasts only the type III Na(+)-dependent phosphate (NaPi) transporter isoforms Pit-1 and Pit-2 have been identified. We tested the effects of extracellular Pi, Ca(2+) and IGF-I on Na(d)Pi transport and Pit-1 or Pit-2 mRNA expression in rat osteoblastic (PyMS) cells. The v(max) of Na(d)Pi transport was higher in cells kept in Pi-free, serum-free medium for 24 h than in controls at 1 mM Pi (2.47+/-0.20 vs 1.83+/-0.17 nmol/mg protein x 10 min). The apparent affinity constant (K(M)) for Pi remained unchanged. Pi withdrawal for 24 h did not impair cell viability whereas increasing the extracellular Pi to 5 mM resulted in cell death. Pit-1 (but not Pit-2) mRNA was upregulated following Pi deprivation, Ca(2+) treatment or after treatment with 1 nM IGF-I, known to stimulate Na(d)Pi transport and cell proliferation. IGF-I also stimulated Na(d)Pi transport and Pit-1 mRNA in primary rat calvarial osteoblasts. Expression of Pit-1 mRNA in vivo and the coordinate regulation of Pit-1 mRNA and Pi transport in osteoblastic cells suggest that Pit-1 is a candidate transporter of physiological relevance in bone.

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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.

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Berit Svendsen, Ramona Pais, Maja S Engelstoft, Nikolay B Milev, Paul Richards, Charlotte B Christiansen, Kristoffer L Egerod, Signe M Jensen, Abdella M Habib, Fiona M Gribble, Thue W Schwartz, Frank Reimann, and Jens J Holst

The incretin hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) are secreted from intestinal endocrine cells, the so-called L- and K-cells. The cells are derived from a common precursor and are highly related, and co-expression of the two hormones in so-called L/K-cells has been reported. To investigate the relationship between the GLP1- and GIP-producing cells more closely, we generated a transgenic mouse model expressing a fluorescent marker in GIP-positive cells. In combination with a mouse strain with fluorescent GLP1 cells, we were able to estimate the overlap between the two cell types. Furthermore, we used primary cultured intestinal cells and isolated perfused mouse intestine to measure the secretion of GIP and GLP1 in response to different stimuli. Overlapping GLP1 and GIP cells were rare (∼5%). KCl, glucose and forskolin+IBMX increased the secretion of both GLP1 and GIP, whereas bombesin/neuromedin C only stimulated GLP1 secretion. Expression analysis showed high expression of the bombesin 2 receptor in GLP1 positive cells, but no expression in GIP-positive cells. These data indicate both expressional and functional differences between the GLP1-producing ‘L-cell’ and the GIP-producing ‘K-cell’.