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T Komatsu, F Itoh, S Mikawa, and K Hodate

Resistin has been suggested to induce insulin resistance in obesity and to inhibit adipocyte differentiation. In lactating cows, glucose uptake in the mammary gland is a rate-limiting step in milk synthesis, and to supply glucose to the mammary gland, insulin resistance increases. We examined the expression of the resistin gene by real-time PCR of cDNA in the adipose tIssue and mammary gland of lactating and non-lactating cows. Lactation induced a significant increase of resistin expression in adipose tIssue compared with that in the dry period, and decreased resistin expression in the mammary gland. There were no significant differences in the expression of insulin responsive glucose transporter (GLUT4) mRNA between the adipose tIssue of lactating and non-lactating cows, and GLUT4 mRNA was not detected in the mammary gland. The plasma insulin concentration was lower in lactating cows than in non-lactating cows. These results indicate that the pattern of resistin expression in peripheral tIssues is changed in association with milk production. The increase of resistin expression and maintenance of a lower level of plasma insulin concentration may decrease glucose availability by increasing insulin resistance in adipose tIssue. Additionally, our results suggest that the decrease of resistin expression in the mammary gland may influence on the insulin-dependent glucose uptake in mammary epithelial cells during lactation.

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T Tsugawa, R Shinohara, A Nagasaka, I Nakano, F Takeda, M Nagata, N Oda, Y Sawai, N Hayakawa, A Suzuki, and M Itoh

An accelerated polyol pathway in diabetes contributes to the development of diabetic complications. To elucidate diabetic nephropathy involving also renal tubular damage, we measured urinary sorbitol concentration concomitantly with urinary N-acetyl-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) excretion in WBN-kob diabetic rats.Twenty-four-hour urinary sorbitol concentrations increased in the diabetic rats in parallel with whole blood sorbitol concentrations. An increase in 24-h urinary NAG excretion coincided with the elevated urinary sorbitol levels in the diabetic rats. The administration of epalrestat, an aldose reductase inhibitor, reduced the increased whole blood and urinary sorbitol concentrations and urinary NAG excretion concomitantly with renal aldose reductase inhibition in the diabetic rats.These results indicate that diabetic nephropathy involves distorted cell function of renal tubules, and that treatment with epalrestat may prevent at least the progress of the nephropathy.

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R Shinohara, T Mano, A Nagasaka, R Hayashi, K Uchimura, I Nakano, F Watanabe, T Tsugawa, M Makino, H Kakizawa, M Nagata, K Iwase, Y Ishizuki, and M Itoh

Free radicals, hydroxyperoxides and H(2)O(2) are all known to damage cell components. This study was designed to compare the concentrations of hydroxyperoxide and free radical scavengers in the cardiac muscles of old rats in the hyper- or hypothyroid condition, to determine whether rates of peroxidation would differ with age, thyroid status, or both. Rats were rendered hyper- or hypothyroid by administration of l-thyroxine or methimazole for 4 weeks. Among the old rats, the lipid peroxide (LPO) concentrations, measured as thiobarbituric acid (TBA) reactants, were significantly greater in the hyperthyroid than in the euthyroid state and the LPO concentrations measured as TBA+Fe(3+) reactants, which may be precursors of LPO, were significantly greater in the hyperthyroid state, whereas in young rats, the LPO concentrations measured by TBA or TBA+Fe(3+) methods did not differ significantly in the hyperthyroid state. In the euthyroid state, the concentration of LPO measured as TBA+Fe(3+) reactants was significantly reduced with age. Xanthine oxidase (XOD) activity also was markedly increased with age, being more pronounced in the hyperthyroid than in the euthyroid state. The Mn and Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase activities were greater in the hyperthyroid than in the euthyroid state. Glutathione peroxidase activity decreased with age in the euthyroid and, particularly, in the hyperthyroid state. Catalase activity was not affected in the old rats. Concentrations of alpha-tocopherol in the old rats were high in the hyperthyroid state and low in the hypothyroid state, whereas the levels of beta- and gamma-tocopherols in these rats were unchanged in both conditions as compared with the euthyroid state findings. Data suggest that the site of free radical generation differs in older rats, with additional shifts in the location of intracellular lipid peroxidation being noted during hyperthyroidism. Thus, as rats age, the reduction of the free radical scavenger system and the increase in LPO and XOD activities might induce myocardial dysfunction.