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Monisha Rajasekaran, Ok-Joo Sul, Eun-Kyung Choi, Ji-Eun Kim, Jae-Hee Suh, and Hye-Seon Choi

Obesity is strongly associated with chronic inflammation for which adipose tissue macrophages play a critical role. The objective of this study is to identify monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1, CCL2) as a key player governing M1–M2 macrophage polarization and energy balance. We evaluated body weight, fat mass, adipocyte size and energy expenditure as well as core body temperature of Ccl2 knockout mice compared with wild-type mice. Adipose tissues, differentiated adipocyte and bone marrow-derived macrophages were assessed by qPCR, Western blot analysis and histochemistry. MCP-1 deficiency augmented energy expenditure by promoting browning in white adipose tissue and brown adipose tissue activity via increasing the expressions of Ucp1, Prdm16, Tnfrsf9, Ppargc1a, Nrf1 and Th and mitochondrial DNA copy number. MCP-1 abrogation promoted M2 polarization which is characterized by increased expression of Arg1, Chil3, Il10 and Klf4 whereas it decreased M1 polarization by decreased p65 nuclear translocation and attenuated expression of Itgax, Tnf and Nos2, leading to increased browning of adipocytes. Enhanced M2 polarization and attenuated M1 polarization in the absence of MCP-1 are independent. Collectively, our results suggest that the action of MCP-1 in macrophages modulates energy expenditure by impairing browning in adipose tissue.

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.

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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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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.

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M Nasu, T Sugimoto, H Kaji, and K Chihara

Although there is clinical evidence showing that combined therapy with parathyroid hormone (PTH) and estrogen is additively effective in increasing the bone mass of patients with osteoporosis, the mechanism of the interaction between these hormones remains unclear. The present study was performed to determine whether estrogen would affect osteoblast proliferation and function modulated by PTH in human osteoblastic SaOS-2 cells. Human PTH-(1-34) significantly inhibited [(3)H]thymidine (TdR) incorporation, which was attenuated by 24 h pretreatment with 10(-10) to 10(-7) M 17 beta-estradiol (17 beta-E(2)) in a concentration-dependent manner. PTH significantly stimulated alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, collagen synthesis and type-1 procollagen mRNA expression after pretreatment with 17 beta-E(2 )in these cells. Tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen, antagonized these 17 beta-E(2)-induced effects. Pretreatment with insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) mimicked estrogen action, and coincubation of 3 microg/ml anti-IGF-I antibody antagonized the effects of 17 beta-E(2 )as well as those of IGF-I. In the presence of 17 beta-E(2 )pretreatment, PTH strongly stimulated IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-5 mRNA expression in these cells, and recombinant IGFBP-5 increased type-1 procollagen mRNA expression and ALP activity. In conclusion, estrogen attenuates PTH-induced inhibition of osteoblast proliferation and PTH stimulates osteoblast function in the presence of estrogen pretreatment. IGF-I and/or IGFBP-5 seemed to be involved in the estrogen-induced modulation of PTH action on osteoblast proliferation and function.

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GW Aberdeen, GJ Pepe, and ED Albrecht

In the present study, we determined whether expression of the messenger ribonucleic acids (mRNAs) for insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II), and its principal IGF type-1 receptor and IGF-binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2), as well as basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), was developmentally regulated in the baboon fetal adrenal gland. In the second phase of this study, fetal pituitary ACTH was suppressed by the administration of betamethasone to determine the possible effect on the mRNA levels for those factors, i.e. IGF-II and IGFBP-2, shown to be expressed at high levels in the adrenal late in fetal development. Adrenals were obtained from fetuses delivered via Cesarean section on days 60 (early), 100 (mid), and 165 (late) of gestation (term=184 days) from untreated baboons and on day 165 from baboons in which betamethasone was administered to the fetus, or to fetus and mother, every other day between days 150 and 164 of gestation. Although the mRNA levels of IGF-II in the fetal adrenal were similar at early, mid and late gestation, IGF type-1 receptor mRNA levels were approximately 2- to 3-fold greater (P<0.01) at mid than at early or late gestation. In contrast, there was an increase (P<0.001) in fetal adrenal IGFBP-2 and bFGF mRNA levels in late gestation. Although fetal adrenal weights and width of the zone of definitive/transitional cells exhibiting immunocytochemical staining for Delta(5)-3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD) were markedly suppressed (P<0.01) by the administration of betamethasone, IGF-II and IGFBP-2 mRNA expression was not decreased. In summary, very different patterns of mRNA levels for IGF-II, IGF type-1 receptor, IGFBP-2 and bFGF were exhibited in the developing baboon fetal adrenal gland, which may reflect functionally important differences in their respective cellular localization within the cortex, as well as a divergence in the functional development of the fetal, transitional and definitive zones of the baboon fetal adrenal cortex.

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.

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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.

Free access

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’.

Free access

Qinkai Li, Weidong Yin, Manbo Cai, Yi Liu, Hongjie Hou, Qingyun Shen, Chi Zhang, Junxia Xiao, Xiaobo Hu, Qishisan Wu, Makoto Funaki, and Yutaka Nakaya

Insulin resistance and dyslipidemia are both considered to be risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Low levels of IGF1 are associated with insulin resistance. Elevation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concomitant with depression of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Liver secretes IGF1 and catabolizes cholesterol regulated by the rate-limiting enzyme of bile acid synthesis from cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1). NO-1886, a chemically synthesized lipoprotein lipase activator, suppresses diet-induced insulin resistance with the improvement of HDL-C. The goal of the present study is to evaluate whether NO-1886 upregulates IGF1 and CYP7A1 to benefit glucose and cholesterol metabolism. By using human hepatoma cell lines (HepG2 cells) as an in vitro model, we found that NO-1886 promoted IGF1 secretion and CYP7A1 expression through the activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5). Pretreatment of cells with AG 490, the inhibitor of STAT pathway, completely abolished NO-1886-induced IGF1 secretion and CYP7A1 expression. Studies performed in Chinese Bama minipigs pointed out an augmentation of plasma IGF1 elicited by a single dose administration of NO-1886. Long-term supplementation with NO-1886 recovered hyperinsulinemia and low plasma levels of IGF1 suppressed LDL-C and facilitated reverse cholesterol transport by decreasing hepatic cholesterol accumulation through increasing CYP7A1 expression in high-fat/high-sucrose/high-cholesterol diet minipigs. These findings indicate that NO-1886 upregulates IGF1 secretion and CYP7A1 expression to improve insulin resistance and hepatic cholesterol accumulation, which may represent an alternative therapeutic avenue of NO-1886 for T2DM and metabolic syndrome.