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Sandra Pereira, Anu Shah, I George Fantus, Jamie W Joseph, and Adria Giacca

Circulating free fatty acids (FFAs) are elevated in obesity and cause insulin resistance. The objective of the current study was to determine whether the antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) prevented hepatic and peripheral insulin resistance caused by prolonged elevation of plasma FFAs. Chronically cannulated Wistar rats received saline (SAL), Intralipid plus heparin (IH), IH plus NAC, or NAC i.v. infusion for 48 h. Insulin sensitivity was determined using the hyperinsulinemic–euglycemic clamp with tritiated glucose tracer. IH induced hepatic and peripheral insulin resistance (P<0.05). NAC co-infusion did not prevent insulin resistance in the liver, although it was able to prevent peripheral insulin resistance. Prolonged IH infusion did not appear to induce oxidative stress in the liver because hepatic content of protein carbonyl, malondialdehyde, and reduced to oxidized glutathione ratio did not differ across treatment groups. In alignment with our insulin sensitivity results, IH augmented skeletal muscle protein carbonyl content and this was prevented by NAC co-infusion. Taken together, our results indicate that oxidative stress mediates peripheral, but not hepatic, insulin resistance resulting from prolonged plasma FFA elevation. Thus, in states of chronic plasma FFA elevation, such as obesity, antioxidants may protect against peripheral but not hepatic insulin resistance.

Free access

Victor Wong, Linda Szeto, Kristine Uffelman, I George Fantus, and Gary F Lewis

Omapatrilat (OMA), a vasopeptidase inhibitor (VPI), presently being tested in clinical trials for its antihypertensive properties, inhibits both angiotensin-converting enzyme and neutral endopeptidase, and raises tissue bradykinin levels. Recent studies from our laboratory and those of others have demonstrated that VPIs enhance muscle glucose uptake in animal models, and this effect is mediated by the bradykinin–nitric oxide pathway. The mechanism of the effect of OMA on muscle glucose uptake, however, is presently unknown. To investigate the effect of OMA on insulin signaling, soleus muscle was isolated 2 or 5 min after an i.v. bolus of insulin or saline from male Zucker fatty rats (8–10 weeks of age), following a 5-day treatment period of oral OMA (15 mg/kg per day) or drug vehicle (placebo). OMA resulted in significantly lower systolic blood pressure compared with the placebo-treated group (84.4± 7.52 mmHg in OMA vs 112±2.18 mmHg in controls, P<0.01). Immunoprecipitation and Western blot analysis of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1) revealed no changes in protein mass with OMA treatment. OMA did not enhance basal or insulin-stimulated IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation or its subsequent association with the p85 regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Under basal and insulin-stimulated conditions, OMA treatment did not alter the protein mass or the phosphorylation of Akt/protein kinase B, p42/44 extracellular signal-regulated kinase or adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, or GLUT4 protein expression. We conclude that the ability of OMA to enhance whole body and specifically muscle glucose uptake in Zucker fatty rats is not mediated by enhancing insulin or AMPK signaling. Future studies should examine whether hemodynamic effects of the drug, independent of insulin signaling, enhance glucose uptake in insulin-resistant skeletal muscle.

Open access

Sandra Pereira, Wen Qin Yu, María E Frigolet, Jacqueline L Beaudry, Yaniv Shpilberg, Edward Park, Cristina Dirlea, B L Grégoire Nyomba, Michael C Riddell, I George Fantus, and Adria Giacca

We have shown in rats that sodium salicylate (SS), which inhibits IkBa kinase B (IKKB), prevents hepatic and peripheral insulin resistance caused by short-term (7 h) i.v. administration of Intralipid and heparin (IH). We wished to further determine whether this beneficial effect of SS persisted after prolonged (48 h) IH infusion, which better mimics the chronic free fatty acid (FFA) elevation of obesity. Hence, we performed hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps with tritiated glucose methodology to determine hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity in rats infused with saline, IH, IH and SS, or SS alone. SS prevented peripheral insulin resistance (P<0.05) caused by prolonged plasma FFA elevation; however, it did not prevent hepatic insulin resistance. In skeletal muscle, protein levels of phospho-IkBa were augmented by prolonged IH administration and this was prevented by SS, suggesting that IH activates while SS prevents the activation of IKKB. Markers of IKKB activation, namely protein levels of phospho-IkBa and IkBa, indicated that IKKB is not activated in the liver after prolonged FFA elevation. Phosphorylation of serine 307 at insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1, which is a marker of proximal insulin resistance, was not altered by IH administration in the liver, suggesting that this is not a site of hepatic insulin resistance in the prolonged lipid infusion model. Our results suggest that the role of IKKB in fat-induced insulin resistance is time and tissue dependent and that hepatic insulin resistance induced by prolonged lipid elevation is not due to an IRS-1 serine 307 kinase.

Free access

Tusty-Jiuan Hsieh, Pierre Fustier, Chih-Chang Wei, Shao-Ling Zhang, Janos G Filep, Shiow-Shiu Tang, Julie R Ingelfinger, I George Fantus, Pavel Hamet, and John S D Chan

We reported previously that insulin inhibits the stimulatory effect of high glucose on the expression of angiotensinogen (ANG) gene in both rat immortalized renal proximal tubular cells (IRPTCs) and non-diabetic rat renal proximal tubular cells (RPTCs), but has no effect in diabetic rat RPTCs. In the present study we investigated whether hyperglycaemia-induced resistance to the insulin-induced inhibition of expression of the ANG gene is mediated via the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in RPTCs. Rat IRPTCs were cultured for 2 weeks in high-glucose (25 mM) or normal-glucose (5 mM) medium plus angiotensin II (Ang II) with or without a superoxide scavenger (tiron), or inhibitors of: NADPH oxidase (diphenylene iodinium, DPI), Ang II type 1 and 2 receptors (losartan and PD123319), angiotensin-converting enzyme (perindopril), protein kinase C (GF 109203X), or glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amino-transferase (azaserine). Cellular generation of ROS, and ANG and renin mRNA levels were assessed by lucigenin assay and specific reverse transcriptase-PCR respectively. Phosphorylation of p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p44/42 MAPK) was evaluated by western blotting. Prolonged exposure of IRPTCs to high concentrations of glucose or Ang II evoked generation of ROS and resistance to the insulin-induced inhibition of expression of the ANG gene and of p44/42 MAPK phosphorylation. Co-incubation of IRPTCs with tiron, DPI, losartan, PD123319, perindopril, GF 109203X or azaserine prevented ROS generation, restoring the inhibitory action of insulin on ANG gene expression and on p44/42 MAPK phosphorylation. In conclusion, our studies demonstrate that blockade of both ROS generation and activation of the intrarenal renin–angiotensin system improves the inhibitory action of insulin on ANG gene expression in IRPTCs in conditions of high glucose.