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K Kataoka, D Yu, and M Miura

We have investigated the role of the NPXY motif in the insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR) by focusing on the activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3' kinase (PI3-K) pathway and DNA synthesis following IGF-I stimulation. For this purpose, we established stable R-cell lines, which are deficient in endogenous IGF-IR, and express human IGF-IR lacking the whole NPEY(950) sequence (DeltaNPEY). The DeltaNPEY cells showed an apparent autophosphorylation of IGF-IR, albeit with reduced sensitivity to stimulation compared with cells expressing similar levels of wild-type IGF-IR. Activation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 and IRS-2 was severely impaired in DeltaNPEY cells even at high concentrations of IGF-I. However, recruitment of p85, a regulatory subunit of PI3-K, to activated IRS-2 was similar between the cell lines, but recruitment of p85 to IRS-1 was reduced in DeltaNPEY cells. Essentially similar levels of p85- or phosphotyrosine-associated PI3-K and Akt activities were observed between the cell lines, although the sensitivity to stimulation was reduced in DeltaNPEY cells. Activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and DNA synthesis were virtually unaffected by the mutation, in terms of both sensitivity to stimulation and responsiveness. DNA synthesis was completely inhibited by the PI3-K inhibitor, LY294002. These results indicate that the IGF-IR is able to activate the PI3-K pathway and induce DNA synthesis in a normal fashion without the NPXY motif when the receptor is fully activated.

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T Ishizuka, A Miura, K Kajita, K Yamada, H Wada, S Itaya, Y Kanoh, M Ishizawa, M Kimura, and K Yasuda

The Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) rat is a new spontaneous non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) model rat strain developed in Tokushima, Japan. After 18 weeks of age, decreases of 45% and 40% respectively in insulin- and phorbol ester-stimulated [3H]2-deoxyglucose (DOG) uptake were observed, compared with those in Long-Evans Tokushima (LETO) rats (control). Insulin-specific binding and 95 kDa autophosphorylation of insulin receptor in OLETF rats were not different from those in LETO rats. Insulin-induced diacylglycerol (DG) production and Mono Q column-purified protein kinase C (PKC) translocation in adipocytes of OLETF rats were decreased compared with those of LETO rats. Insulin-induced PKC beta translocation from cytosol to membrane was also decreased in adipocytes of OLETF rats. Increases of the PKC beta I, beta II, epsilon and zeta isoforms in membranes of OLETF rats were markedly smaller than those of LETO rats. Analysis of mRNA levels of PKC isoforms in adipocytes of OLETF rats showed decreases of basal level and insulin-induced delayed responses of PKC beta I, beta II, epsilon and zeta mRNA in OLETF rats. On the other hand, insulin- or phorbol ester-induced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) activation was decreased in adipocytes of OLETF rats compared with those of LETO rats. These results suggest that insulin resistance in OLETF rats, a spontaneous NIDDM model rat, may be associated with deterioration of insulin-induced DG-PKC signaling and subsequent decrease in PI 3-kinase activation.

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H Yokoi, H Nagasaki, K Tachikawa, H Arima, T Murase, Y Miura, M Hirabayashi, and Y Oiso

Prolonged exposure of tissues to a receptor agonist often leads to adaptive changes that limit the subsequent responsiveness of the tissue to the same agonist. Recently, we have generated rats transgenic for the metallothionein I-human arginine vasopressin (AVP) fusion gene (Tg), which produced high plasma AVP with relatively preserved renal water excretion, suggesting that there might be adaptive mechanism(s) for maintaining water and electrolyte homeostasis against chronic AVP oversecretion from the earliest stage of life. In this study, to investigate whether down-regulation of AVP V2 receptor (V2R), which could possibly be caused by long-standing high plasma AVP, participates in this adaptive mechanism(s), non-peptidic V2R antagonist OPC31260 was administered to reverse the down-regulation, and water loading was performed after V2R antagonist treatment had been withdrawn. Additionally, to confirm the down-regulation, Northern blotting analysis for V2R mRNA was carried out. Tg rats showed slightly decreased urine volume and water intake with an equivalent plasma [Na(+)] level (Tg 140.4 +/- 0.6 mEq/l; control 139.3 +/- 0.6 mEq/l) under basal conditions. After water loading using a liquid diet containing zinc, which stimulates the promoter region in the transgene, the urine increase showed only limited suppression with a dramatically increased plasma AVP level and mild hyponatremia (135.8 +/- 1.8 mEq/l) in Tg rats. When diet containing OPC31260 had been provided for 4 days until the day before the start of water loading, antidiuresis and hyponatremia (125.4 +/- 1.mEq/l) were significantly potentiated. V2R mRNA expression in kidney was significantly less in Tg rats than in control rats under basal conditions, and this suppression was restored by OPC31260 treatment to levels comparable with those of control rats. These results suggest that long-standing high plasma AVP causes V2R down-regulation, and it may play an important role in the adaptive mechanism(s) for maintaining water and electrolyte homeostasis in chronically AVP-overexpressing rats.

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A. Nagasaka, H. Hidaka, H. Itoh, H. Nakagawa, K. Kataoka, A. Yamaguchi, K. Iwase, A. Nakai, T. Ohyama, T. Aono, S. Miyakawa, K. Kawase, and K. Miura


Adenylate cyclase and cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase activities in the thyroid gland were significantly reduced after hypophysectomy, followed by a gradual restoration of the enzyme activities to the levels seen in sham-operated rats whereas a slight and persistent reduction was evident in guanylate cyclase and cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase activities in the same tissue. These changes in enzyme activities were restored by TSH administration but not by ACTH. The recovery of activity produced by TSH administration was inhibited by cycloheximide. Hypophysectomy, or TSH and cycloheximide administration, did not produce any significant changes in the concentrations of calmodulin, suggesting that the alteration of these enzyme activities is not induced by a decrease in the concentration of calmodulin. Since forskolin activation of adenylate cyclase did not restore the reduced activity in the hypophysectomized rat thyroid to the level found in the sham-operated control rat thyroid, we conclude that there is a reduction of the amount of enzyme after hypophysectomy rather than a change of the active site on adenylate cyclase. The spontaneous restoration of adenylate cyclase and cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase activities after hypophysectomy implies that cyclic AMP-metabolizing enzymes are responsive to an autoregulatory mechanism in thyroid follicular cells.

J. Endocr. (1985) 105, 363–369

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H Nagasaki, H Yokoi, H Arima, M Hirabayashi, S Ishizaki, K Tachikawa, T Murase, Y Miura, and Y Oiso

Arginine vasopressin (AVP) is a major antidiuretic hormone, the overproduction of which causes diluting hyponatremia in humans and is called the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuresis (SIAD). To study physiological changes resulting from AVP overproduction and to develop an animal model of hyponatremia, the human AVP gene was expressed under the control of the metallothionein promoter in transgenic (Tg) rats. Analyses of AVP immunoreactivity (irAVP) in the tissues revealed that the transgene is expressed mainly in the central nervous system. Gel filtration showed that irAVP in the brain and plasma was properly processed AVP. AVP purified from the brains of both Tg and control rats also exerted equal bioactivity to generate cAMP in LLC-PK1 cells. The founder rats did not show any physical or anatomical abnormalities. Under basal conditions, Tg rats had high plasma AVP levels (Tg 13.8 +/- 2.5 pg/ml; control 2.7 +/- 1.2 pg/ml; n=6 in both groups; means +/- S.E.M.), decreased urine volume, and normal plasma [Na(+)]. Hypertonic saline injected i.p. did not affect AVP secretion in Tg rats. In response to a zinc-supplemented liquid diet, plasma AVP decreased in control rats, but increased in Tg rats (Tg 32.7 +/- 2.7 pg/ml; control 1.0+/-0.1 pg/ml; n=6), resulting in hyponatremia (Tg 135.2 +/- 2.5 mEq/l; control 140.8 +/- 0.4 mEq/l; n=6). To our knowledge, this is the first transgenic animal to show diluting hyponatremia. This transgenic rat may therefore provide a useful model in which to investigate various physiological alterations resulting from the oversecretion of AVP which involve SIAD, stress response, behavior, and blood pressure.

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M Makino, N Oda, N Miura, S Imamura, K Yamamoto, T Kato, K Fujiwara, Y Sawai, K Iwase, A Nagasaka, and M Itoh

Thyroid hormones affect reactions in almost all pathways of lipid metabolism. It has been reported that plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentration in hypothyroidism is generally within the normal range. In this study, however, we show that plasma FFA concentration in some hypothyroid patients is higher than the normal range. Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction in these individuals were less severe than those of patients with lower plasma FFA concentrations. From these findings we hypothesized that the change in FFA concentration must correlate with thyroid function. Using an animal model, we then examined the effect of highly purified eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester (EPA-E), a n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid derived from fish oil, on thyroid function in 1-methyl-2-imidazolethiol (MMI)-induced hypothyroid rats. Oral administration of EPA-E inhibited reduction of thyroid hormone levels and the change of thyroid follicles in MMI-induced hypothyroid rats. These findings suggest that FFA may affect thyroid functions and EPA-E may prevent MMI-induced hypothyroidism.

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F Satoh, K Takahashi, O Murakami, K Totsune, M Ohneda, Y Mizuno, M Sone, Y Miura, S Takase, Y Hayashi, H Sasano, and T Mouri


The expression of cerebellin and cerebellin mRNA was studied by radioimmunoassay and Northern blot analysis in the human brain, adrenal gland and the tumour tissues of adrenal tumour, ganglioneuroblastoma and neuroblastoma. Immunoreactive cerebellin was detected in every region of brain studied, with the highest concentrations found in the hemisphere of the cerebellum (424·2 ± 12·6 pmol/g wet weight, n=6, mean ± s.e.m.) and the vermis of the cerebellum (256·8 ± 30·5 pmol/g wet weight). Immuno-reactive cerebellin was also detected in the pituitary (8·2 ± 1·8 pmol/g wet weight), the spinal cord (3·3 ± 0·3 pmol/g wet weight) and the normal parts of adrenal glands (2·98 ± 0·37 pmol/g wet weight, n=9) and some tumour tissues, such as phaeochromocytomas, cortisol-producing adrenocortical adenomas, ganglioneuroblastomas and neuroblastomas. Northern blot analysis showed that cerebellin mRNA was highly expressed in the hemisphere and vermis of the cerebellum. Cerebellin mRNA was also expressed in other regions of the brain and the tumour tissues of phaeochromocytoma, cortisol-producing adrenocortical adenoma, ganglioneuroblastoma and neuroblastoma. Immunocytochemistry of the normal adrenal gland showed that immunoreactive cerebellin was localized in the adrenal medulla. The present study has shown the expression of cerebellin and cerebellin mRNA, not only in the cerebellum but also in other regions of the brain and some tumours, such as cortisol-producing adrenocortical adenoma, phaeochromocytoma and neuroblastoma. These findings suggest possible pathophysiological roles of cerebellin peptides, not only in the cerebellum, but also in the extra-cerebellar tissues.

Journal of Endocrinology (1997) 154, 27–34

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T Akamizu, T Murayama, S Teramukai, K Miura, I Bando, T Irako, H Iwakura, H Ariyasu, H Hosoda, H Tada, A Matsuyama, S Kojima, T Wada, Y Wakatsuki, K Matsubayashi, T Kawakita, A Shimizu, M Fukushima, M Yokode, and K Kangawa

Aging is associated with a decrease in growth hormone (GH) secretion, appetite and energy intake. As ghrelin stimulates both GH secretion and appetite, reductions in ghrelin levels may be involved in the reductions in GH secretion and appetite observed in the elderly. However, only preliminary studies have been performed on the role of ghrelin in elderly subjects. In this study, we sought to clarify the physiologic implications of the age-related alterations in ghrelin secretion by determining plasma ghrelin levels and other clinical parameters in healthy elderly subjects. Subjects were ≥ 65 years old, corresponding to the SENIEUR protocol, had not had a resection of the upper gastrointestinal tract and had not been treated with hormones. One hundred and five volunteers (49 men and 56 women) were admitted to this study (73.4 ± 6.3 years old). Plasma levels of acylated ghrelin in elderly female subjects positively correlated with serum IGF-I levels and bowel movement frequency and negatively with systolic blood pressure. In elderly men, desacyl ghrelin levels correlated only weakly with bowel movement frequency. These findings suggest that the plasma levels of the acylated form of ghrelin may influence the age-related alterations in GH/IGF-I regulation, blood pressure and bowel motility. These observational associations warrant further experimental studies to clarify the physiologic significance of these effects.