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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.

Open access

Ashley Patton, Tyler Church, Caroline Wilson, Jean Thuma, Douglas J Goetz, Darlene E Berryman, Edward O List, Frank Schwartz, and Kelly D McCall

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of both metabolic and inflammatory diseases and has become the leading chronic liver disease worldwide. High-fat (HF) diets promote an increased uptake and storage of free fatty acids (FFAs) and triglycerides (TGs) in hepatocytes, which initiates steatosis and induces lipotoxicity, inflammation and insulin resistance. Activation and signaling of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) by FFAs induces inflammation evident in NAFLD and insulin resistance. Currently, there are no effective treatments to specifically target inflammation associated with this disease. We have established the efficacy of phenylmethimazole (C10) to prevent lipopolysaccharide and palmitate-induced TLR4 signaling. Because TLR4 is a key mediator in pro-inflammatory responses, it is a potential therapeutic target for NAFLD. Here, we show that treatment with C10 inhibits HF diet-induced inflammation in both liver and mesenteric adipose tissue measured by a decrease in mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, C10 treatment improves glucose tolerance and hepatic steatosis despite the development of obesity due to HF diet feeding. Administration of C10 after 16 weeks of HF diet feeding reversed glucose intolerance, hepatic inflammation, and improved hepatic steatosis. Thus, our findings establish C10 as a potential therapeutic for the treatment of NAFLD.

Free access

Berit Svendsen, Ramona Pais, Maja S Engelstoft, Nikolay B Milev, Paul Richards, Charlotte B Christiansen, Kristoffer L Egerod, Signe M Jensen, Abdella M Habib, Fiona M Gribble, Thue W Schwartz, Frank Reimann, and Jens J Holst

The incretin hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) are secreted from intestinal endocrine cells, the so-called L- and K-cells. The cells are derived from a common precursor and are highly related, and co-expression of the two hormones in so-called L/K-cells has been reported. To investigate the relationship between the GLP1- and GIP-producing cells more closely, we generated a transgenic mouse model expressing a fluorescent marker in GIP-positive cells. In combination with a mouse strain with fluorescent GLP1 cells, we were able to estimate the overlap between the two cell types. Furthermore, we used primary cultured intestinal cells and isolated perfused mouse intestine to measure the secretion of GIP and GLP1 in response to different stimuli. Overlapping GLP1 and GIP cells were rare (∼5%). KCl, glucose and forskolin+IBMX increased the secretion of both GLP1 and GIP, whereas bombesin/neuromedin C only stimulated GLP1 secretion. Expression analysis showed high expression of the bombesin 2 receptor in GLP1 positive cells, but no expression in GIP-positive cells. These data indicate both expressional and functional differences between the GLP1-producing ‘L-cell’ and the GIP-producing ‘K-cell’.