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Free access

David J Flint, Nadine Binart, Stephanie Boumard, John J Kopchick and Paul Kelly

Direct metabolic effects of GH on adipose tissue are well established, but effects of prolactin (PRL) have been more controversial. Recent studies have demonstrated PRL receptors on adipocytes and effects of PRL on adipose tissue in vitro. The role of GH in adipocyte proliferation and differentiation is also controversial, since GH stimulates adipocyte differentiation in cell lines, whereas it stimulates proliferation but inhibits differentiation of adipocytes in primary cell culture. Using female gene disrupted (ko) mice, we showed that absence of PRL receptors (PRLRko) impaired development of both internal and s.c. adipose tissue, due to reduced numbers of adipocytes, an effect differing from that of reduced food intake, where cell volume is decreased. In contrast, GHRko mice exhibited major decreases in the number of internal adipocytes, whereas s.c. adipocyte numbers were increased, even though body weight was decreased by 40–50%. The changes in adipose tissue in PRLRko mice appeared to be entirely due to extrinsic factors since preadipocytes proliferated and differentiated in similar fashion to wild-type animals in vitro and their response to insulin and isoproterenol was similar to wild-type animals. This contrasted with GHRko mice, where s.c. adipocytes proliferated, differentiated, and responded to hormones in identical fashion to controls, whereas parametrial adipocytes exhibited markedly depressed proliferation and differentiation potential and failed to respond to insulin or noradrenaline. Our results provide in vivo evidence that both GH and PRL stimulate differentiation of adipocytes but that the effects of GH are site specific and induce intrinsic changes in the precursor population, which are retained in vitro.

Free access

Kelly D McCall, Dawn Holliday, Eric Dickerson, Brian Wallace, Anthony L Schwartz, Christopher Schwartz, Christopher J Lewis, Leonard D Kohn and Frank L Schwartz

Visceral adipocytes and associated macrophages produce and release excessive amounts of biologically active inflammatory cytokines via the portal and systemic vascular system, which induce insulin resistance in insulin target tissues such as fat, liver, and muscle. Free fatty acids (FFAs) absorbed via the portal system or released from adipocytes also induce insulin resistance. In this report, we show that phenylmethimazole (C10) blocks basal IL6 and leptin production as well as basal Socs-3 expression in fully differentiated 3T3L1 cells (3T3L1 adipocytes) without affecting insulin-stimulated AKT signaling. In addition, C10 inhibits palmitate-induced IL6 and iNos up-regulation in both 3T3L1 adipocytes and RAW 264.7 macrophages, LPS-induced NF-κB and IFN-β activation in 3T3L1 cells, and LPS-induced iNos, Ifn- β, Il1 β, Cxcl10, and Il6 expression in RAW 264.7 macrophages. C10 also blocks palmitate-induced Socs-3 up-regulation and insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) serine 307 phosphorylation in 3T3L1 adipocytes. Additionally, we show for the first time that although palmitate increases IRS-1 serine 307 phosphorylation in 3T3L1 adipocytes, AKT serine 473 phosphorylation is enhanced, not reduced, by palmitate. These results suggest that through inhibition of FFA-mediated signaling in adipocytes and associated macrophages, as well as possibly other insulin target cells/tissues (i.e. non-immune cells), C10 might be efficacious to prevent or reverse cytokine-induced insulin resistance seen in obesity-related insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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

Peter J Simons, Petra S van den Pangaart, Johannes M F G Aerts and Louis Boon

Adiponectin and, especially, its oligomeric complex composition have been suggested to be critical in determining insulin sensitivity. Pro-inflammatory cytokines play an important role in the development of insulin resistance in obesity and associated diseases. Therefore, we investigated the effect of long-term exposure of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, and interferon (IFN)-γ on total insulin-sensitizing adiponectin secretion and adiponectin complex formation from human adipocytes. In parallel, adipocyte delipidation and leptin production levels were monitored. The present study demonstrates that TNF-α, IL-1β, and IFN-γ dose and time dependently suppressed total adiponectin secretion within 7 days (60, 70, and 35% reduction respectively). IL-6 was also able to reduce (50%) adiponectin production, although only in combination with exogenous soluble IL-6 receptors (sIL-6R). However, the oligomeric distribution (high, middle, and low molecular weight (HMW) complexes) of secreted adiponectin was not altered by any of these cytokines. All studied pro-inflammatory cytokines resulted in delipidation and reduction of lipid-laden adipocyte numbers. Despite this reduction of lipid-laden adipocytes, TNF-α, IL-6/sIL-6R, and IL-1β stimulated leptin release. Our data indicate that (i) long-term pro-inflammatory cytokine exposure downregulates total adiponectin secretion from delipidizing adipocytes and (ii) pro-inflammatory cytokines are not important regulators of adipocyte-derived adiponectin oligomerization. Hence, their individual contribution to low expression of HMW adiponectin found in insulin-resistant conditions seems unlikely. Furthermore, delipidizing adipocytes and preadipocytes are active leptin producers when stimulated by TNF-α, IL-6/sIL-6R, and IL-1β.

Free access

JP Warne

In addition to its established role in the immune system, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) exerts complex regulatory actions on adipose tissue. TNFalpha is produced in and secreted by the adipocyte and thus is in a position to exert a paracrine and/or autocrine role within adipose tissue. TNFalpha affects many aspects of adipocyte function, from adipocyte development to lipid metabolism. Bringing together all of these diverse actions, TNFalpha appears to play a general role in reducing adipose tissue mass. Dysregulation of TNFalpha production and/or action could be one facet in the development of cachexia and obesity, as well as associated metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance.

Free access

Yun Wang, Patsy M Nishina and Jürgen K Naggert

The TALLYHO/Jng (TH) mouse strain is a polygenic model for type 2 diabetes (T2D) characterized by moderate obesity, impaired glucose tolerance and uptake, insulin resistance, and hyperinsulinemia. The goal of this study was to elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible for the reduced glucose uptake and insulin resistance in the adipose tissue of this model. The translocation and localization of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) to the adipocyte plasma membrane were impaired in TH mice compared to control C57BL6/J (B6) mice. These defects were associated with decreased GLUT4 protein, reduced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity, and alterations in the phosphorylation status of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1). Activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2, which can phosphorylate IRS1 on Ser307, was significantly higher in TH mice compared with B6 controls. IRS1 protein but not mRNA levels was found to be lower in TH mice than controls. Immunoprecipitation with anti-ubiquitin and western blot analysis of IRS1 protein revealed increased total IRS1 ubiquitination in adipose tissue of TH mice. Suppressor of cytokine signaling 1, known to promote IRS1 ubiquitination and subsequent degradation, was found at significantly higher levels in TH mice compared with B6. Immunohistochemistry showed that IRS1 colocalized with the 20S proteasome in proteasomal structures in TH adipocytes, supporting the notion that IRS1 is actively degraded. Our findings suggest that increased IRS1 degradation and subsequent impaired GLUT4 mobilization play a role in the reduced glucose uptake in insulin resistant TH mice. Since low-IRS1 levels are often observed in human T2D, the TH mouse is an attractive model to investigate mechanisms of insulin resistance and explore new treatments.

Full access

Jessica L Pierce, Ke-Hong Ding, Jianrui Xu, Anuj K Sharma, Kanglun Yu, Natalia del Mazo Arbona, Zuleika Rodríguez-Santos, Paul J Bernard, Wendy B Bollag, Maribeth H Johnson, Mark W Hamrick, Dana L Begun, Xing-Ming Shi, Carlos M Isales and Meghan E McGee-Lawrence

Excess fat within bone marrow is associated with lower bone density. Metabolic stressors such as chronic caloric restriction (CR) can exacerbate marrow adiposity, and increased glucocorticoid signaling and adrenergic signaling are implicated in this phenotype. The current study tested the role of glucocorticoid signaling in CR-induced stress by conditionally deleting the glucocorticoid receptor (Nr3c1; hereafter abbreviated as GR) in bone marrow osteoprogenitors (Osx1-Cre) of mice subjected to CR and ad libitum diets. Conditional knockout of the GR (GR-CKO) reduced cortical and trabecular bone mass as compared to WT mice under both ad libitum feeding and CR conditions. No interaction was detected between genotype and diet, suggesting that the GR is not required for CR-induced skeletal changes. The lower bone mass in GR-CKO mice, and the further decrease in bone by CR, resulted from suppressed bone formation. Interestingly, treatment with the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol mildly but selectively improved metrics of cortical bone mass in GR-CKO mice during CR, suggesting interaction between adrenergic and glucocorticoid signaling pathways that affects cortical bone. GR-CKO mice dramatically increased marrow fat under both ad libitum and CR-fed conditions, and surprisingly propranolol treatment was unable to rescue CR-induced marrow fat in either WT or GR-CKO mice. Additionally, serum corticosterone levels were selectively elevated in GR-CKO mice with CR, suggesting the possibility of bone–hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal crosstalk during metabolic stress. This work highlights the complexities of glucocorticoid and β-adrenergic signaling in stress-induced changes in bone mass, and the importance of GR function in suppressing marrow adipogenesis while maintaining healthy bone mass.

Free access

Tomoaki Hayakawa, Tomomi Minemura, Toshiharu Onodera, Jihoon Shin, Yosuke Okuno, Atsunori Fukuhara, Michio Otsuki and Iichiro Shimomura

Active glucocorticoid levels are elevated in the adipose tissue of obesity due to the enzyme 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1. Glucocorticoids can bind and activate both glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), and pharmacological blockades of MR prevent high-fat diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance. To determine the significance of MR in adipocytes, we generated adipocyte-specific MR-knockout mice (AdipoMR-KO) and fed them high-fat/high-sucrose diet. We found that adipocyte-specific deletion of MR did not affect the body weight, fat weight, glucose tolerance or insulin sensitivity. While liver weight was slightly reduced in AdipoMR-KO, there were no significant differences in the mRNA expression levels of genes associated with lipogenesis, lipolysis, adipocytokines and oxidative stress in adipose tissues between the control and AdipoMR-KO mice. The results indicated that MR in mature adipocytes plays a minor role in the regulation of insulin resistance and inflammation in high-fat/high-sucrose diet-induced obese mice.

Open access

Ya-Li Yang, Li-Rong Ren, Li-Feng Sun, Chen Huang, Tian-Xia Xiao, Bao-Bei Wang, Jie Chen, Brian A Zabel, Peigen Ren and Jian V Zhang

Chemerin, a chemokine, plays important roles in immune responses, inflammation, adipogenesis, and carbohydrate metabolism. Our recent research has shown that chemerin has an inhibitory effect on hormone secretion from the testis and ovary. However, whether G protein-coupled receptor 1 (GPR1), the active receptor for chemerin, regulates steroidogenesis and luteolysis in the corpus luteum is still unknown. In this study, we established a pregnant mare serum gonadotropin-human chorionic gonadotropin (PMSG-hCG) superovulation model, a prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) luteolysis model, and follicle and corpus luteum culture models to analyze the role of chemerin signaling through GPR1 in the synthesis and secretion of gonadal hormones during follicular/luteal development and luteolysis. Our results, for the first time, show that chemerin and GPR1 are both differentially expressed in the ovary over the course of the estrous cycle, with highest levels in estrus and metestrus. GPR1 has been localized to granulosa cells, cumulus cells, and the corpus luteum by immunohistochemistry (IHC). In vitro, we found that chemerin suppresses hCG-induced progesterone production in cultured follicle and corpus luteum and that this effect is attenuated significantly by anti-GPR1 MAB treatment. Furthermore, when the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway was blocked, the attenuating effect of GPR1 MAB was abrogated. Interestingly, PGF2α induces luteolysis through activation of caspase-3, leading to a reduction in progesterone secretion. Treatment with GPR1 MAB blocked the PGF2α effect on caspase-3 expression and progesterone secretion. This study indicates that chemerin/GPR1 signaling directly or indirectly regulates progesterone synthesis and secretion during the processes of follicular development, corpus luteum formation, and PGF2α-induced luteolysis.

Free access

ME Symonds, A Mostyn, S Pearce, H Budge and T Stephenson

In the fetus, adipose tIssue comprises both brown and white adipocytes for which brown fat is characterised as possessing the unique uncoupling protein (UCP)1. The dual characteristics of fetal fat reflect its critical role at birth in providing lipid that is mobilised rapidly following activation of UCP1 upon cold exposure to the extra-uterine environment. A key stage in the maturation of fetal fat is the gradual rise in the abundance of UCP1. For species with a mature hypothalamic-pituitary axis at birth there is a gradual increase in the amount and activity of UCP1 during late gestation, in conjunction with an increase in the plasma concentrations of catecholamines, thyroid hormones, cortisol, leptin and prolactin. These may act individually, or in combination, to promote UCP1 expression and, following the post-partum surge in each hormone, UCP1 abundance attains maximal amounts.Adipose tIssue grows in the fetus at a much lower rate than in the postnatal period. However, its growth is under marked nutritional constraints and, in contrast to many other fetal organs that are unaffected by nutritional manipulation, fat mass can be significantly altered by changes in maternal and, therefore, fetal nutrition. Fat deposition in the fetus is enhanced during late gestation following a previous period of nutrient restriction up to mid gestation. This is accompanied by increased mRNA abundance for the receptors of IGF-I and IGF-II. In contrast, increasing maternal nutrition in late gestation results in less adipose tIssue deposition but enhanced UCP1 abundance. The pronounced nutritional sensitivity of fetal adipose tIssue to both increased and decreased maternal nutrition may explain why the consequences of an adverse nutritional environment persist into later life.