Mononuclear cytotrophoblasts (CTs) differentiate and fuse to form multinuclear syncytiotrophoblasts (STs), which produce human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and progesterone to maintain pregnancy. Impaired differentiation and fusion of CTs to form STs are associated with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and fetal growth restriction. Progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1) is a multifunctional single transmembrane heme-binding protein. We previously demonstrated that downregulation of PGRMC1 promotes endometrial stromal cell differentiation (decidualization). Here, we explored the role of PGRMC1 in trophoblast differentiation and fusion. PGRMC1 expression was lower in STs than in CTs of first-trimester placental tissues. PGRMC1 expression in BeWo cells (a trophoblast-derived choriocarcinoma cell line) decreased upon dibutyryl-cAMP (db-cAMP)-induced differentiation. Both inhibition and knockdown of PGRMC1 stimulated hCG production in the presence of db-cAMP. Furthermore, a quantitative cell fusion assay we developed revealed that inhibition and knockdown of PGRMC1 enhanced db-cAMP-stimulated cell fusion. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) agonists decreased PGRMC1 expression and stimulated the cell fusion in BeWo cells. These findings suggest that downregulation of PGRMC1 expression in part through activation of PPARγ during trophoblast differentiation promotes hCG production and cell fusion for formation and maintenance of placental villi during pregnancy.
Long lagging behind insulin, glucagon research has caught up in large part, thanks to technological breakthroughs. Here we review how the field was propelled by the development of novel techniques and approaches. The glucagon radioimmunoassay and islet isolation are methods that now seem trivial, but for decades they were crucial in defining the biology of the pancreatic alpha cell and the role of glucagon in glucose homeostasis. More recently, mouse models have become the main workhorse of this research effort, if not of biomedical research in general. The mouse model allowed detailed mechanistic studies that are revealing alpha cell functions beyond its canonical glucoregulatory role. A recent profusion of gene expression and transcription regulation studies is providing new vistas into what constitutes alpha cell identity. In particular, the combination of transcriptomic techniques with functional recordings promises to move molecular guesswork into real-time physiology. The challenge right now is not to get enamored with these powerful techniques and to make sure that the research continues to be transformative and paradigm shifting. We should imagine a future in which the biology of the alpha cell will be studied at single-cell resolution, non-invasively, and in real time in the human body.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can damage the hypothalamus and cause improper activation of the growth hormone (GH) axis, leading to growth hormone deficiency (GHD). GHD is one of the most prevalent endocrinopathies following TBI in adults; however, the extent to which GHD affects juveniles remains understudied. We used postnatal day 17 rats (n = 83), which model the late infantile/toddler period, and assessed body weights, GH levels, and number of hypothalamic somatostatin neurons at acute (1, 7 days post injury (DPI)) and chronic (18, 25, 43 DPI) time points. We hypothesized that diffuse TBI would alter circulating GH levels because of damage to the hypothalamus, specifically somatostatin neurons. Data were analyzed with generalized linear and mixed effects models with fixed effects interactions between the injury and time. Despite similar growth rates over time with age, TBI rats weighed less than shams at 18 DPI (postnatal day 35; P = 0.03, standardized effect size [d] = 1.24), which is around the onset of puberty. Compared to shams, GH levels were lower in the TBI group during the acute period (P = 0.196; d = 12.3) but higher in the TBI group during the chronic period (P = 0.10; d = 52.1). Although not statistically significant, TBI-induced differences in GH had large standardized effect sizes, indicating biological significance. The mean number of hypothalamic somatostatin neurons (an inhibitor of GH) positively predicted GH levels in the hypothalamus but did not predict GH levels in the somatosensory cortex. Understanding TBI-induced alterations in the GH axis may identify therapeutic targets to improve the quality of life of pediatric survivors of TBI.
Jonathan ToledoInstituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud (INICSA-CONICET), Córdoba, Argentina Centro de Microscopia Electrónica, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina
Pablo Aníbal PerezInstituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud (INICSA-CONICET), Córdoba, Argentina Centro de Microscopia Electrónica, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina
Jorge Humberto MukdsiInstituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud (INICSA-CONICET), Córdoba, Argentina Centro de Microscopia Electrónica, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina
Silvina GutierrezInstituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud (INICSA-CONICET), Córdoba, Argentina Centro de Microscopia Electrónica, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina
Due to the current limited knowledge about the role of filamin A (FLNA) in pituitary tumour progression, we aimed to analyse FLNA expression levels and its impact on aggressive markers of pituitary neuroendocrine tumours (PitNETs), using an integrative approach of in vivo and in vitro models and human samples. An increase in the expression levels of FLNA was observed in the advanced tumoural stages of the hyperplastic adenomatous pituitary model, concomitant with a decrease in cell proliferation and with a modification in the subcellular localisation of this protein. Similarly, overexpression of FLNA in the somatolactotropic GH3 cell line induced a decrease in the cell proliferation, promoted a migratory phenotype, increased invasion activity, and decreased the prolactin secretion. Cyclin D1 (CCND1) and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) expression increased in both models in correlation with the increase observed in FLNA levels. When human tissues were analysed a significant increase of FLNA was observed in PitNETs compared to normal pituitary gland, with heterogeneous intracellular localisation. Higher levels of FLNA expression were observed in tumours with invasive characteristics. These results underline the crucial roles of FLNA as a modulator of pathological markers and as a potential prognostic marker in pituitary tumours.
Brennan TseDepartment of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, The Lawson Health Research Institute and Children's Health Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
Sukham BrarDepartment of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, The Lawson Health Research Institute and Children's Health Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
Edith J AranyDepartment of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, The Lawson Health Research Institute and Children's Health Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
Daniel B HardyDepartments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Physiology and Pharmacology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada The Lawson Health Research Institute and the Children's Health Research Institute, London, Ontario, Canada
Reports in North America suggest that up to 20% of young women (18–24 years) use cannabis during pregnancy. This is concerning given clinical studies indicate that maternal cannabis use is associated with fetal growth restriction and dysglycemia in the offspring. Preclinical studies demonstrated that prenatal exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive component of cannabis, in rat dams led to female-specific deficits in β-cell mass and glucose intolerance/insulin resistance. Yet to date, the contributions of cannabidiol (CBD), the primary nonpsychoactive compound in cannabis, remain elusive. This study aimed to define the effects of in utero cannabidiol (CBD) exposure on postnatal glucose regulation. Pregnant Wistar rat dams received daily intraperitoneal injections of either a vehicle solution or 3 mg/kg of CBD from gestational day (GD) 6 to parturition. CBD exposure did not lead to observable changes in maternal or neonatal outcomes; however, by 3 months of age male CBD-exposed offspring exhibited glucose intolerance despite no changes in pancreatic β/α-cell mass. Transcriptomic analysis on the livers of these CBD-exposed males revealed altered gene expression of circadian rhythm clock machinery, which is linked to systemic glucose intolerance. Furthermore, alterations in hepatic developmental and metabolic processes were also observed, suggesting gestational CBD exposure has a long-lasting detrimental effect on liver health throughout life. Collectively, these results indicate that exposure to CBD alone in pregnancy may be detrimental to the metabolic health of the offspring later in life.
Insulin signaling cascade in peripheral insulin-sensitive tissues regulates whole-body glucose metabolism. Any deregulation in this pathway leads to insulin resistance, ultimately leading to metabolic diseases like type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Insulin signaling in the brain has also been studied for many decades and associated with many primary functions like maintenance of synaptic plasticity, regulation of cognition, and circadian rhythm. Importantly, neuronal insulin signaling has also been associated with the regulation of neuronal glucose uptake. Any impairment in neuronal insulin signaling affecting neuronal glucose uptake has been associated with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, the process now being termed as type 3 diabetes. Since the criticality lies in proper signaling cascade, determining important points of deregulation is important. In this review, we have discussed some critical points of such deregulation, dividing them into two classes of enzymes: kinases and phosphatases. We have highlighted their individual roles in neuronal insulin signaling, along with their possible implications in neuronal insulin resistance. Future strategies targeting these nodes in neuronal insulin signaling might be helpful in exploring potential therapeutic opportunities to overcome neuronal insulin resistance and related neurodegenerative diseases.
The prevalence of obesity is increasing exponentially across the globe. The lack of effective treatment options for long-term weight loss has magnified the enormity of this problem. Studies continue to demonstrate that adipose tissue holds a biological memory, one of the most important determinant of long-term weight maintenance. This phenomenon is consistent with the metabolically dynamic role of adipose tissue: it adapts and expands to store for excess energy and serves as an endocrine organ capable of synthesizing a number of biologically active molecules that regulate metabolic homeostasis. An important component of the plasticity of adipose tissue is the extracellular matrix, essential for structural support, mechanical stability, cell signaling and function. Chronic obesity upends a delicate balance of extracellular matrix synthesis and degradation, and the ECM accumulates in such a way that prevents the plasticity and function of the diverse cell types in adipose tissue. A series of maladaptive responses among the cells in adipose tissue leads to inflammation and fibrosis, major mechanisms that explain the link between obesity and insulin resistance, risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Adipose tissue fibrosis persists after weight loss and further enhances adipose tissue dysfunction if weight is regained. Here, we highlight the current knowledge of the cellular events governing adipose tissue ECM remodeling during the development of obesity. Our goal is to delineate the relationship more clearly between adipose tissue ECM and metabolic disease, an important step toward better defining the pathophysiology of dysfunctional adipose tissue.
Russell T TurnerSkeletal Biology Laboratory, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA Center for Healthy Aging Research, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Urszula T IwaniecSkeletal Biology Laboratory, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA Center for Healthy Aging Research, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Absence of leptin confers metabolic dysfunction resulting in morbid obesity. Bone growth and maturation are also impaired. Partial leptin resistance is more common than leptin deficiency and, when induced by feeding mice a high fat diet, often has a negative effect on bone. Here, we used a genetic model to investigate the skeletal effects of partial and total leptin resistance in mice. This was accomplished by comparing the skeletal phenotypes of 17-week-old female C57Bl6/J wild-type (WT) mice, partial leptin receptor-deficient (db/+) mice and leptin receptor-deficient (db/db) mice (n = 7–8/group), all fed a standard diet. Compared to WT mice, db/db mice were dramatically heavier and hyperleptinemic. These mice were also hypogonadal, hyperglycemic, osteopenic and had lower serum levels of bone turnover markers, osteocalcin and C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX). Compared to WT mice, db/+ mice were 14% heavier, had 149% more abdominal white adipose tissue, and were mildly hyperglycemic. db/+ mice did not differ from WT mice in uterine weight or serum levels of markers of bone turnover, although there was a trend for lower osteocalcin. At the bone microarchitectural level, db/+ mice differed from WT mice in having more massive femurs and a trend (P = 0.072) for larger vertebrae. These findings suggest that db/+ mice fed a normal mouse diet compensate for partial leptin resistance by increasing white adipose tissue mass which results in higher leptin levels. Our findings suggest that db/+ mice are a useful diet-independent model for studying the effects of partial leptin resistance on the skeleton.