The recently identified G protein-coupled receptor GPRC6A is activated by dietary amino acids and expressed in multiple tissues. Although the receptor is hypothesised to exert biological impact on metabolic and endocrine-related parameters, the role of the receptor in obesity and metabolic complications is still elusive. In the present study, we investigated the impact of GPRC6A deficiency in a murine model of diet-induced obesity (DIO). Male Gprc6a knockout (KO) mice and WT littermates were subjected to a high-fat diet (HFD) for 25 weeks and exposed to comprehensive metabolic phenotyping. A significant increase in body weight, corresponding to a selective increase in body fat, was observed in Gprc6a KO mice exposed to an HFD relative to WT controls. The obese phenotype was linked to subtle perturbations in energy homoeostasis as GPRC6A deficiency resulted in chronic hyperphagia and decreased locomotor activity. Moreover, diet-induced obese Gprc6a KO mice had increased circulating insulin and leptin levels relative to WT animals, thereby demonstrating that endocrine abnormalities associate with the reported disturbances in energy balance. The phenotype was further accompanied by disruptions in glucose metabolism showing that Gprc6a KO mice on an HFD display increased susceptibility to develop metabolic-related disorders. Altogether, these data suggest that the amino acid sensing receptor GPRC6A plays an important role in resistance to DIO and metabolic complications. Future studies will illuminate the underlying molecular mechanisms mediating the herein reported findings and potentially facilitate the development of novel therapeutic compounds targeting the GPRC6A receptor.
Christoffer Clemmensen, Sanela Smajilovic, Andreas N Madsen, Anders B Klein, Birgitte Holst and Hans Bräuner-Osborne
Corinne Caillaud, Mie Mechta, Heidi Ainge, Andreas N Madsen, Patricia Ruell, Emilie Mas, Catherine Bisbal, Jacques Mercier, Stephen Twigg, Trevor A Mori, David Simar and Romain Barrès
Erythropoietin (EPO) ameliorates glucose metabolism through mechanisms not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the effect of EPO on glucose metabolism and insulin signaling in skeletal muscle. A 2-week EPO treatment of rats fed with a high-fat diet (HFD) improved fasting glucose levels and glucose tolerance, without altering total body weight or retroperitoneal fat mass. Concomitantly, EPO partially rescued insulin-stimulated AKT activation, reduced markers of oxidative stress, and restored heat-shock protein 72 expression in soleus muscles from HFD-fed rats. Incubation of skeletal muscle cell cultures with EPO failed to induce AKT phosphorylation and had no effect on glucose uptake or glycogen synthesis. We found that the EPO receptor gene was expressed in myotubes, but was undetectable in soleus. Together, our results indicate that EPO treatment improves glucose tolerance but does not directly activate the phosphorylation of AKT in muscle cells. We propose that the reduced systemic inflammation or oxidative stress that we observed after treatment with EPO could contribute to the improvement of whole-body glucose metabolism.