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Free access

Wenbin Shang, Ying Yang, Libin Zhou, Boren Jiang, Hua Jin and Mingdao Chen

A series of clinical trials and animal experiments have demonstrated that ginseng and its major active constituent, ginsenosides, possess glucose-lowering action. In our previous study, ginsenoside Rb1 has been shown to regulate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ activity to facilitate adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells. However, the effect of Rb1 on glucose transport in insulin-sensitive cells and its molecular mechanism need further elucidation. In this study, Rb1 significantly stimulated basal and insulin-mediated glucose uptake in a time- and dose-dependent manner in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and C2C12 myotubes; the maximal effect was achieved at a concentration of 1 μM and a time of 3 h. In adipocytes, Rb1 promoted GLUT1 and GLUT4 translocations to the cell surface, which was examined by analyzing their distribution in subcellular membrane fractions, and enhanced translocation of GLUT4 was confirmed using the transfection of GLUT4-green fluorescence protein in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells. Meanwhile, Rb1 increased the phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 and protein kinase B (PKB), and stimulated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activity in the absence of the activation of the insulin receptor. Rb1-induced glucose uptake as well as GLUT1 and GLUT4 translocations was inhibited by the PI3K inhibitor. These results suggest that ginsenoside Rb1 stimulates glucose transport in insulin-sensitive cells by promoting translocations of GLUT1 and GLUT4 by partially activating the insulin signaling pathway. These findings are useful in understanding the hypoglycemic and anti-diabetic properties of ginseng and ginsenosides.

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

E Garcia, M Lacasa, B Agli, Y Giudicelli and D Lacasa

Androgenic status affects rat preadipocyte adipose conversion from two deep intra-abdominal (epididymal and perirenal) fat depots differently. The aim of this study was to establish whether these site-specific alterations of adipogenesis are related to altered expressions of the transcriptional factors regulating proliferation and differentiation of preadipocytes, c-myc and CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs: C/EBPalpha and beta). The increased proliferation of epididymal and perirenal preadipocytes from castrated rats was not linked to variations in c-myc mRNA and protein levels. The expression of the early marker of adipogenesis, lipoprotein lipase (LPL), was decreased by androgenic deprivation in epididymal cells but remained insensitive to the androgenic status in perirenal preadipocytes. In contrast, LPL expression increased in subcutaneous preadipocytes from castrated rats, an effect which was partly corrected by testosterone treatment. Expression of C/EBPbeta was unaffected by androgenic status whatever the anatomical origin of the preadipocytes. In contrast, the mRNA and protein levels of C/EBPalpha were greatly decreased by androgenic deprivation in epididymal cells, an alteration which could not be corrected by in vivo testosterone administration. Altogether these results demonstrated that in preadipocytes androgenic deprivation affects site-specifically the expression of LPL, an early marker of adipogenesis and of C/EBPalpha, a master regulator of adipogenesis. These observations contribute to an explanation of why castration induces defective adipose conversion in rat epididymal preadipocytes specifically.

Free access

MP Ramirez-Ponce, JC Mateos and JA Bellido

We studied the potassium currents in white adipocytes obtained by culturing preadipocytes from rat epididymal tissue, both with insulin (WA(i)) and without insulin (WA(o)), in order to test the role of insulin in the development of voltage-gated potassium channels (K(v)) during adipogenesis. Occasionally, very small potassium currents (I(K,V)) were present in preadipocytes; however these currents were measured in all differentiated cells (adipocytes). WA(i) exhibited greater macroscopic potassium currents than WA(o) with no apparent differences in kinetics or voltage dependence. The current density (pA/ micro m(2)) calculated in WA(i) was higher than in WA(o). Currents were blocked by millimolar concentrations of tetrethylamonium (TEA). The effect of insulin on adipogenesis, both with and without TEA, was analysed. Four days without insulin and three days with insulin were necessary to increase the total number of cells in culture by 2.5-fold. Insulin increased the number of differentiated cells by 73.5%. Cell proliferation and differentiation were inhibited by TEA. Proliferation was affected only by high concentration of TEA. Inhibition of differentiation was dose dependent, with the concentration necessary for half-block similar to the IC(50) values to block potassium channels. These results suggest that insulin increases the density of K(v) and that these channels may be necessary for the normal growth of white adipocytes in culture.

Free access

Susan Kralisch, Johannes Klein, Ulrike Lossner, Matthias Bluher, Ralf Paschke, Michael Stumvoll and Mathias Fasshauer

Recently, visfatin was characterized as a novel adipo-cytokine that is upregulated in obesity and exerts insulin-mimetic effects in various tissues. To clarify expression and regulation of this adipocytokine, visfatin mRNA was measured by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in 3T3-L1 adipocytes during adipogenesis and after treatment with various hormones known to alter insulin sensitivity. Visfatin expression was about 6-fold higher in 3T3-L1 adipocytes in vitro as compared with epididymal fat in vivo and increased during adipogenic conversion more than 3-fold. Interestingly, 100 nM dexamethasone significantly increased visfatin mRNA by almost 1.5-fold. In contrast, 500 ng/ml growth hormone (GH), 10 ng/ml tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α, and 10 μM isoproterenol downregulated visfatin expression by 45%, 36%, and 43% respectively. Insulin did not influence synthesis of this adipocytokine. The effects of dexamethasone, GH, TNFα and isoproterenol were time- and dose-dependent. Furthermore, activation of Gs-protein-coupled pathways by forskolin and cholera toxin was sufficient to significantly downregulate visfatin mRNA. Taken together, our results show a differential regulation of visfatin mRNA by insulin resistance-inducing hormones, supporting the view that this adipo-cytokine might be an interesting novel candidate linking core components of the metabolic syndrome such as obesity and insulin resistance.

Free access

Jin-Bong Lee, Sung-Jin Yoon, Sang-Hyun Lee, Moo-Seung Lee, Haiyoung Jung, Tae-Don Kim, Suk Ran Yoon, Inpyo Choi, Ik-Soo Kim, Su Wol Chung, Hee Gu Lee, Jeong-Ki Min and Young-Jun Park

Healthy expansion of adipose tissue maintains metabolic homeostasis by storing excess chemical energy in increased fat mass. The STAT5-PPAR gamma pathway reportedly regulates adipocyte differentiation, lipid metabolism and adipogenesis. Ginsenoside Rg3 is one of the diverse groups of steroidal saponins, the major active components of ginseng, which have demonstrated pharmacological properties. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic effects of ginsenoside Rg3 under pathological conditions in vitro and in vivo. We examined the effects of ginsenoside Rg3 on glucose level, insulin sensitivity and lipogenesis in high-fat diet-fed C57BL/6 mice. Ginsenoside Rg3 was also applied to the pre-adipocyte cell line 3T3-L1 to assess the impact on lipogenesis. Ginsenoside Rg3 reduced epididymal white adipose tissue (eWAT) size and hepatic steatosis, and the amount of triglycerides (TGs) in both eWAT and liver. Similar to the murine model, Rg3-treated 3T3-L1 cells showed a reduction in lipid accumulation and amount of total TGs. Ginsenoside Rg3 regulates the expression of PPAR gamma though STAT5 in vitro and in vivo. According to our results, lipid metabolism-related genes were downregulated in the high-fat mice and 3T3-L1 cell line. Rg3 shows potential for the amelioration of obesity-induced pathology, acting though STAT5-PPAR gamma to facilitate the healthy functioning of adipose tissue. This is the first report of evidence that obesity-induced insulin resistance and lipotoxicity can be treated with ginsenoside Rg3, which acts though the STAT5-PPAR gamma pathway in vivo and in vitro.

Free access

Christophe Breton

Epidemiological studies initially demonstrated that maternal undernutrition leading to low birth weight may predispose for energy balance disorders throughout life. High birth weight due to maternal obesity or diabetes, inappropriate early post-natal nutrition and rapid catch-up growth may also sensitise to increased risk of obesity. As stated by the Developmental Origin of Health and Disease concept, the perinatal perturbation of foetus/neonate nutrient supply might be a crucial determinant of individual programming of body weight set point. The hypothalamus–adipose axis plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of energy homoeostasis controlling the nutritional status and energy storage level. The perinatal period largely corresponds to the period of brain maturation, neuronal differentiation and active adipogenesis in rodents. Numerous dams and/or foetus/neonate dietary manipulation models were developed to investigate the mechanisms underlying perinatal programming in rodents. These models showed several common offspring hypothalamic consequences such as impaired neurogenesis, neuronal functionality, nuclei structural organisation and feeding circuitry hardwiring. These alterations led to a persistent reprogrammed appetite system that favoured the orexigenic pathways, leptin/insulin resistance and hyperphagia. Impaired hypothalamic sympathetic outflow to adipose tissue and/or reduced innervation may also account for modified fat cell metabolism. Thus, enhanced adipogenesis and/or lipogenesis capacities may predispose the offspring to fat accumulation. Abnormal hypothalamus–adipose axis circadian rhythms were also evidenced. This review mainly focuses on studies in rodents. It highlights hormonal and epigenetic mechanisms responsible for long-lasting programming of energy balance in the offspring. Dietary supplementation may provide a therapeutic option using a specific regimen for reversing adverse programming outcomes in humans.

Free access

J E Digby, J Chen, J Y Tang, H Lehnert, R N Matthews and H S Randeva

Orexin-A and orexin-B, via their receptors orexin-1 receptor (OX1R) and orexin-2 receptor (OX2R) have been shown to play a role in the regulation of feeding, body weight, and energy expenditure. Adipose tissue also contributes significantly to the maintenance of body weight by interacting with a complex array of bioactive peptides; however, there are no data as yet on the expression of orexin components in adipose tissue. We, therefore, analyzed the expression of OX1R and OX2R in human adipose tissue and determined functional responses to orexin-A and orexin-B. OX1R and OX2R mRNA expression was detected in subcutaneous (s.c.) and omental adipose tissue and in isolated adipocytes. Protein for OX1R and OX2R was also detected in whole adipose tissue sections and lysates. Treatment with orexin-A, and orexin-B (100 nM, 24 h) resulted in a significant increase in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors γ-2 mRNA expression in s.c. adipose tissue (P < 0.05). Hormone sensitive lipase mRNA was significantly reduced in omental adipose tissue with orexin-A and orexin-B treatment (P < 0.05). Glycerol release from omental adipose tissue was also significantly reduced with orexin-A treatment (P < 0.05).

These findings demonstrate for the first time the presence of functional orexin receptors in human adipose tissue and suggest a role for orexins in adipose tissue metabolism and adipogenesis.

Open access

Kevin J P Ryan, Zoe C T R Daniel, Lucinda J L Craggs, Tim Parr and John M Brameld

Fat infiltration within muscle is one of a number of features of vitamin D deficiency, which leads to a decline in muscle functionality. The origin of this fat is unclear, but one possibility is that it forms from myogenic precursor cells present in the muscle, which transdifferentiate into mature adipocytes. The current study examined the effect of the active form of vitamin D3, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), on the capacity of the C2C12 muscle cell line to differentiate towards the myogenic and adipogenic lineages. Cells were cultured in myogenic or adipogenic differentiation media containing increasing concentrations (0, 10−13, 10−11, 10−9, 10−7 or 10−5 M) of 1,25(OH)2D3 for up to 6 days and markers of muscle and fat development measured. Mature myofibres were formed in both adipogenic and myogenic media, but fat droplets were only observed in adipogenic media. Relative to controls, low physiological concentrations (10−13 and 10−11 M) of 1,25(OH)2D3 increased fat droplet accumulation, whereas high physiological (10−9 M) and supraphysiological concentrations (≥10−7 M) inhibited fat accumulation. This increased accumulation of fat with low physiological concentrations (10−13 and 10−11 M) was associated with a sequential up-regulation of PPARγ2 (PPARG) and FABP4 mRNA, indicating formation of adipocytes, whereas higher concentrations (≥10−9 M) reduced all these effects, and the highest concentration (10−5 M) appeared to have toxic effects. This is the first study to demonstrate dose-dependent effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 on the transdifferentiation of muscle cells into adipose cells. Low physiological concentrations (possibly mimicking a deficient state) induced adipogenesis, whereas higher (physiological and supraphysiological) concentrations attenuated this effect.

Free access

Guohong Liu, Mirta Grifman, James Macdonald, Peter Moller, Flossie Wong-Staal and Qi-Xiang Li

Adiponectin is an anti-diabetic hormone secreted byadipocytes. Circulating adiponectin levels are lower in obese and type II diabetic patients than in healthy people. Weight loss or thiazolidinedione treatment increases plasma adiponectin levels. Animal models and human studies suggest that elevated adiponectin levels increase insulin sensitivity. We screened a library of drug-like compounds and natural products for novel agents enhancing adiponectin production. We identified isoginkgetin, a compound derived from the leaves of Ginkgo biloba, to up-regulate adiponectin secretion with potency comparable to that of rosiglitazone, a known modulator of adiponectin production. However, unlike rosiglitazone, peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor γ activity seems not required for the action of isoginkgetin, and isoginkgetin has only a slight effect on adipogenesis, which makes it an attractive candidate for anti-diabetic treatment. Further investigation revealed that both isoginkgetin and rosiglitazone activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in adipocytes. Our findings suggest a novel mechanism for the elevation of adiponectin by isoginkgetin, which is different from that of rosiglitazone. Furthermore, this novel mechanism for adiponectin regulation involving AMPK can potentially facilitate new understanding of metabolic diseases and identification of new targets, as well as agents that increase plasma adiponectin levels.