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Lili Guo Department of Endocrinology, Medical College, Department of Physiology, Department of Physical Education, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Nantong West Street No. 98, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225001, China

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Penghua Fang Department of Endocrinology, Medical College, Department of Physiology, Department of Physical Education, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Nantong West Street No. 98, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225001, China

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Mei Yu Department of Endocrinology, Medical College, Department of Physiology, Department of Physical Education, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Nantong West Street No. 98, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225001, China

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Mingyi Shi Department of Endocrinology, Medical College, Department of Physiology, Department of Physical Education, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Nantong West Street No. 98, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225001, China

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Ping Bo Department of Endocrinology, Medical College, Department of Physiology, Department of Physical Education, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Nantong West Street No. 98, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225001, China
Department of Endocrinology, Medical College, Department of Physiology, Department of Physical Education, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Nantong West Street No. 98, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225001, China

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Zhenwen Zhang Department of Endocrinology, Medical College, Department of Physiology, Department of Physical Education, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Nantong West Street No. 98, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225001, China

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Alarin, a regulatory peptide, belongs to the galanin family and plays the same regulatory roles as galanin in orexigenic activity and energy metabolism. Our previous studies had found that galanin might facilitate insulin sensitivity via activation of its central receptors. To date, little is known about whether central alarin may exert similar effects on insulin sensitivity. In order to investigate this, alarin and its specific antagonist, alarin 6–25Cys, were administered into the cerebral ventricles of type 2 diabetic rats (T2DR) to evaluate the changes in insulin resistance. The results indicated that central treatment with alarin significantly increased the body weight of animals, the 2-(N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)amino)-2-deoxyglucose uptake, the plasma adiponectin levels, the glucose infusion rates in hyperinsulinemic–euglycemic clamp tests, the vesicle-associated membrane protein 2 as well as glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4 (SLC2A4)) protein and mRNA levels, and the ratios of GLUT4 contents in plasma membranes to total cell membranes in adipocytes, but reduced blood glucose and plasma retinol-binding protein 4 levels. These effects of alarin may be inhibited by pretreatment with alarin 6–25Cys. The above-mentioned results suggest that the central alarin projective system may facilitate insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake via the increase in GLUT4 content and GLUT4 translocation from intracellular pools to plasma membranes in T2DR.

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Hye-Jin Lee BK21 Graduate Program, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Department of Pharmacology, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Haifei Shi Department of Biology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA

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Hella S Brönneke Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Köln, Germany

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Bo-Yeong Jin BK21 Graduate Program, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Department of Pharmacology, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Sang-Hyun Choi Department of Pharmacology, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Randy J Seeley Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

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Dong-Hoon Kim BK21 Graduate Program, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Department of Pharmacology, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Vascular reactivity of adipose tissue (AT) is hypothesized to play an important role in the development of obesity. However, the exact role of vascular reactivity in the development of obesity remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the chronological changes in vascular reactivity and the microenvironments of the visceral AT (VAT) and subcutaneous AT (SAT) in lean and obese mice. Changes in blood flow levels induced by a β-adrenoceptor agonist (isoproterenol) were significantly lower in the VAT of the mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 1 and 12 weeks than those in the VAT of the mice fed a low-fat diet (LFD) for the same period; no significant change was observed in the SAT of any mouse group, suggesting depot-specific vascular reactivity of AT. Moreover, the hypoxic area and the expression of genes associated with angiogenesis and macrophage recruitment were increased in the VAT (but not in the SAT) of mice fed an HFD for 1 week compared with mice fed an LFD. These changes occurred with no morphological changes, including those related to adipocyte size, AT vessel density, and the diameter and pericyte coverage of the endothelium, suggesting a determinant role of vascular reactivity in the type of AT remodeling. The suppression of vascular reactivity was accompanied by increased endothelin1 (Edn1) gene expression and extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness only in the VAT, implying enhanced contractile activities of the vasculature and ECM. The results suggest a depot-specific role of vascular reactivity in AT remodeling during the development of obesity.

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Nawal A Yahya Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

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Steven R King Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA

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Bo Shi Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

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Aisha Shaaban Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

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Nicole E Whitfield Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

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Chunmei Yan Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Department of Obstetrics, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, People’s Republic of China

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Richard J Kordus Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

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Gail F Whitman-Elia Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

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Holly A LaVoie Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA

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Cells actively engaged in de novo steroidogenesis rely on an expansive intracellular network to efficiently transport cholesterol. The final link in the transport chain is STARD1, which transfers cholesterol to the enzyme complex that initiates steroidogenesis. However, the regulation of ovarian STARD1 is not fully characterized, and even less is known about the upstream cytosolic cholesterol transporters STARD4 and STARD6. Here, we identified both STARD4 and STARD6 mRNAs in the human ovary but only detected STARD4 protein since the primary STARD6 transcript turned out to be a splice variant. Corpora lutea contained the highest levels of STARD4 and STARD1 mRNA and STARD1 protein, while STARD4 protein was uniformly distributed across ovarian tissues. Cyclic AMP analog (8Br-cAMP) and phorbol ester (PMA) individually increased STARD1 and STARD4 mRNA along with STARD1 protein and its phosphoform in cultured primary human luteinized granulosa cells (hGCs). STARD6 transcripts and STARD4 protein were unresponsive to these stimuli. Combining lower doses of PMA and 8Br-cAMP blunted the 8Br-cAMP stimulation of STARD1 protein. Increasing cholesterol levels by blocking its conversion to steroid with aminoglutethimide or by adding LDL reduced the STARD4 mRNA response to stimuli. Sterol depletion reduced the STARD1 mRNA and protein response to PMA. These data support a possible role for STARD4, but not STARD6, in supplying cholesterol for steroidogenesis in the ovary. We demonstrate for the first time how cAMP, PMA and sterol pathways separately and in combination differentially regulate STARD4, STARD6 and STARD1 mRNA levels, as well as STARD1 and STARD4 protein in human primary ovarian cells.

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