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Lucie Tosca, Sabine Crochet, Pascal Ferré, Fabienne Foufelle, Sophie Tesseraud, and Joëlle Dupont

AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a fuel sensor in glucose, lipid, and cholesterol metabolism. Using RT-PCR and Western blot, AMPK subunits mRNAs (α1/2, β1/2, and γ1/2) and proteins (α1/2 and β1/2) can be found in the hen preovulatory follicles and precisely in both granulosa and theca cells. These preovulatory follicles are organized in a hierarchy according to their size (F5/6 to F1). The smallest number (F1) corresponds to the largest size and the latest mature stage. Phosphorylation of AMPKα on Thr172 and of acetyl-CoA carboxylase on Ser79 are higher in F4 and F3 than in F1 granulosa cells. However, they are not affected in F4–F1 theca cells. Treatment with 1 mM 5-amino-imidazole-4-carboxyamide-1-β-d-ribofuranoside (AICAR), an activator of AMPK, dose dependently increased phosphorylation of AMPKα on Thr172 in primary F3/4 and F1 granulosa cells. In the absence of FSH, AICAR treatment increased progesterone, P450 side chain cleavage and steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) production in both F3/4 and F1 granulosa cells. However, in the presence of FSH, AICAR treatment for 36 h increased progesterone secretion, StAR protein levels and reduced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 phosphorylation in F3/4 granulosa cells. Opposite data were observed in F1 granulosa cells. Adenovirus-mediated expression of dominant-negative AMPK totally restored the effects of AICAR on FSH-induced progesterone secretion, StAR protein production, and ERK1/2 phosphorylation in F3/4 and F1 granulosa cells. Using a specific inhibitor of ERK1/2 (U0126), we also showed that this kinase is a negative regulator of the FSH-induced progesterone secretion in F3/4 and F1 granulosa cells, suggesting that AICAR-mediated AMPK activation modifies FSH-induced progesterone secretion differently through the ERK1/2 signaling pathway in hen F3/4 and F1 granulosa cells.

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Patrycja Kurowska, Ewa Mlyczyńska, Monika Dawid, Małgorzata Grzesiak, Joelle Dupont, and Agnieszka Rak

Vaspin, visceral adipose tissue-derived serine protease inhibitor, plays important roles in inflammation, obesity, and glucose metabolism. Our recent research has shown the expression and role of vaspin in the function of ovarian follicles. However, whether vaspin regulates steroidogenesis and luteolysis in the corpus luteum (CL) is still unknown. The aim of this study was first to determine the expression of vaspin and its receptor GRP78 in porcine CL at the early, middle, and late stages of the luteal phase. Next, we investigated the hormonal regulation of vaspin levels in luteal cells in response to luteinizing hormone (LH), progesterone (P4), and prostaglandin PGE2 and PGF2α. Finally, we determined vaspin’s direct impact on luteal cells steroidogenesis, luteolysis and kinases phosphorylation. Our results are the first to show higher vaspin/GRP78 expression in middle and late vs early stages; immunohistochemistry showed cytoplasmic vaspin/GRP78 localization in small and large luteal cells. In vitro, we found that LH, P4, PGE2, and PGF2α significantly decreased vaspin levels. Furthermore, vaspin stimulated steroidogenesis by the activation of the GRP78 receptor and protein kinase A (PKA). Also, vaspin increased the ratio of luteotropic PGE2 to luteolytic PGF2α secretion via GRP78 and mitogen-activated kinase (MAP3/1). Moreover, vaspin, in a dose-dependent manner, decreased GRP78 expression, while it, in a time-dependent manner, increased kinases PKA and MAPK3/1 phosphorylation. Taken together, we found that vaspin/GRP78 expression depends on the luteal phase stage and vaspin affects luteal cells endocrinology, indicating that vaspin is a new regulator of luteal cells steroidogenesis and CL formation.

Free access

Jie Xu, Amaury Jean-Marie Bekaert, Joëlle Dupont, Sarah Rouve, Isabella Annesi-Maesano, C Daniel De Magalhaes Filho, Laurent Kappeler, and Martin Holzenberger

GH plays important pleiotropic roles in development, growth, metabolism, and aging of vertebrate species. Mouse mutants with altered GH signaling have been increasingly instrumental in studying somatotropic pathophysiology. However, the pulsatile characteristics of GH secretion are difficult to study in mice because catheterization is cumbersome and long-term serial sampling is limited by small body size and blood volume. We therefore developed an approach routinely applicable to mice, which detects endogenous, physiological GH pattern from randomly obtained spot samples. We determined individual hormone concentration in large groups of mice, ranked the data by magnitude, and statistically analyzed the resulting profiles. This revealed that the nadir-to-peak distribution of plasma GH concentration in mice was similar to other mammals, and that nycthemeral and sex differences existed as well. We found handling stress to be a potent immediate downregulator of circulating GH. We showed that samples need to be taken within seconds to reflect true endogenous levels, unaffected by stress. GH receptor/Janus kinase 2/signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 activation measured in the liver correlated strongly with plasma GH levels, but peak concentrations did not further increase the pathway activation. We applied this rank plot analysis to the GH-deficient and long-lived brain-specific IGF-1 receptor knockout (bIGF1RKO+/−) mouse mutant and found a high proportion of low GH concentrations, indicative of extended trough periods and rare peaks. Taken together, we showed that rank plot analysis is a useful method that allows straightforward studies of circadian endogenous GH levels in mice.

Free access

Joëlle Dupont, Sophie Tesseraud, Michel Derouet, Anne Collin, Nicole Rideau, Sabine Crochet, Estelle Godet, Estelle Cailleau-Audouin, Sonia Métayer-Coustard, Michel J Duclos, Christian Gespach, Tom E Porter, Larry A Cogburn, and Jean Simon

In order to evaluate the role of insulin in chicken, an insulin immuno-neutralization was performed. Fed chickens received 1 or 3 i.v. injections of anti-insulin serum (2-h intervals), while fed or fasted controls received normal serum. Measurements included insulin signaling cascade (at 1 h in liver and muscle), metabolic or endocrine plasma parameters (at 1 and 5 h), and qRT-PCR analysis (at 5 h) of 23 genes involved in endocrine regulation, metabolisms, and transcription. Most plasma parameters and food intake were altered by insulin privation as early as 1 h and largely at 5 h. The initial steps of insulin signaling pathways including insulin receptor (IR), IR substrate-1 (IRS-1), and Src homology collagen and downstream elements: phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), Akt, GSK3, ERK2, and S6 ribosomal protein) were accordingly turned off in the liver. In the muscle, IR, IRS-1 tyrosine phosphorylation, and PI3K activity remained unchanged, whereas several subsequent steps were altered by insulin privation. In both tissues, AMPK was not altered. In the liver, insulin privation decreased Egr1, PPARγ, SREBP1, THRSPα (spot14), D2-deiodinase, glucokinase (GK), and fatty acid synthase (whereas D3-deiodinase and IGF-binding protein1 transcripts were up-regulated. Liver SREBP1 and GK and plasma IGFBP1 proteins were accordingly down- and up-regulated. In the muscle, PPARβδ and atrogin-1 mRNA increased and Egr1 mRNA decreased. Changes in messengers were partly mimicked by fasting. Thus, insulin signaling in muscle is peculiar in chicken and is strictly dependent on insulin in fed status. The ‘diabetic’ status induced by insulin immuno-neutralization is accompanied by impairments of glucagon secretion, thyroid axis, and expression of several genes involved in regulatory pathways or metabolisms, evidencing pleiotropic effects of insulin in fed chicken.