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W. K. Chan and C. H. Tan

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to examine the inhibitory effect of the non-aromatizable androgens on FSH-stimulated aromatase activity in porcine granulosa cells. The cells were isolated from medium-sized follicles (4–6 mm) of prepubertal pigs, and cultured under chemically defined conditions in the presence of FSH (1 μg/ml, NIADDK-oFSH-S13) with and without the androgens for an initial 48-h induction period. Subsequently, the spent medium was replaced with fresh medium containing only testosterone as substrate and the cells were reincubated for a further 6 h. The conversion of this steroid to oestradiol-17β during this latter 'test' period was taken as a measure of the aromatase activity. The addition of 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) into cultures of FSH-stimulated cells during the induction period resulted in a definite dose-dependent inhibition (30–70%) of the aromatase activity expressed in the test period. This inhibitory action, of the mixed non-competitive type, is characterized by a decrease in the apparent V max and an increase in the K m value, suggestive of an androgen inhibition of FSH-stimulated aromatase synthesis. This inhibition was also shown by the other 5α- and 5β-reduced androgens: 5β-androstanedione was the most effective, while DHT was the least. Other steroids such as pregnenolone and progesterone were inhibitory, but testosterone and diethylstilboestrol were stimulatory. These results suggest an important mechanism for the intrafollicular control of oestrogen synthesis, involving a possible reciprocal relationship between aromatase and 5α-reductase activities.

J. Endocr. (1986) 108, 335–341

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Bee K Tan, Jing Chen, Raghu Adya, Manjunath Ramanjaneya, Vanlata Patel and Harpal S Randeva

Adipolin is a novel adipokine with anti-inflammatory and glucose-lowering properties. Lower levels of adipolin are found in obese and diabetic mice. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a pro-inflammatory state associated with obesity and diabetes. To date, there are no human studies on adipolin. Therefore, we measured serum (ELISA) and adipose tissue adipolin mRNA expression (RT-PCR) and protein concentrations (western blotting) in PCOS and control subjects. We also investigated the ex vivo effect of glucose and metformin on adipolin protein production in human subcutaneous adipose tissue explants. We report novel data that serum and subcutaneous adipose tissue adipolin mRNA expression and protein concentrations were significantly lower in women with PCOS compared with control subjects. Furthermore, Spearman's rank analysis showed that serum adipolin concentrations were significantly negatively correlated with BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, and glucose (P<0.05). However, when subjected to multiple regression analysis, none of these variables were predictive of serum adipolin concentrations (P>0.05). Also, subcutaneous adipose tissue adipolin mRNA expression and protein concentrations were only significantly negatively correlated with glucose (P<0.05). No significant correlations were found with omental adipose tissue adipolin mRNA expression and protein concentrations (P>0.05). Moreover, glucose profoundly reduced and metformin significantly increased adipolin protein production in human adipose tissue explants respectively. Importantly, metformin's effects appear to be via the AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathway.

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MS Lewitt, SJ Hazel, DB Church, AD Watson, SE Powell and K Tan

The 140 kDa ternary complex of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), IGFs and an acid-labile subunit (ALS) has previously been shown to be decreased in diabetes mellitus in humans and rats. We have studied IGF-I levels and ternary complex formation in normal and diabetic cats. Total IGF-I concentrations, measured by RIA using des(1-3)-IGF-I as tracer were (+/-s.e.m.) 54+/-13 nmol/l in eight normal and 227+/-57 nmol/l in eight diabetic cats (P<0.01). The size-distribution of IGFBPs in the cat circulation was determined by incubation with (125)I-IGF-II and Superose 12 chromatography. In normal animals 26+/-2% of the (125)I-IGF-II were in a 140 kDa form compared with 48+/-5% in diabetic cats (P<0.01). When samples from normal and diabetic animals were co-incubated 52+/-3% were at 140 kDa. A similar shift was seen when normal cat and normal human serum were co-incubated. A 2-fold increase in the 140 kDa form in diabetic cats was confirmed first by size-fractionating samples and then performing a ligand-binding assay with (125)I-IGF-I or -II and charcoal separation. SDS-PAGE and Western ligand blotting demonstrated a 45 kDa doublet (presumably IGFBP-3) and 30-35 kDa forms. There were no apparent differences between normal and diabetic profiles on SDS-PAGE, suggesting that a proportion of IGFBP-3 which circulates 'free' in normal cats forms a ternary complex in the diabetic circulation. We conclude that (i) in contrast to humans and rats, ALS is the limiting factor for ternary complex formation in normal cats, (ii) ALS concentrations increase in feline diabetes mellitus and, by promoting ternary complex formation, this leads to an increase in total IGF-I concentrations, and (iii) total IGF-I concentrations may not be reliable in the diagnosis of acromegaly in diabetic cats.

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Bee K Tan, Krzysztof C Lewandowski, Joseph Paul O'Hare and Harpal S Randeva

There has been intense interest in the adipokines of the C1q complement/TNF-related protein (CTRP) superfamily. Adipolin (CTRP12) has been described as a novel adipokine, abundantly expressed in adipose tissue with insulin-sensitising and anti-inflammatory effects. We wanted to investigate the effects of acute and chronic hyperinsulinaemia on circulating adipolin concentrations (ELISA) via a prolonged insulin–glucose infusion in humans. We also examined the effects of insulin and the insulin sensitiser, rosiglitazone, on adipolin concentrations (western blotting) in human adipose tissue explants. We found that hyperinsulinaemic induction in healthy lean human subjects significantly increased circulating levels of adipolin (P<0.05 and P<0.01). Furthermore, in subcutaneous adipose tissue explants, insulin significantly increased adipolin protein expression and secretion (P<0.05 and P<0.01). This effect was attenuated by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor, LY294002 (P<0.05). Moreover, the insulin-sensitising peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) agonist, rosiglitazone, significantly increased adipolin protein expression and secretion in subcutaneous adipose tissue explants (P<0.05 and P<0.01). This effect was inhibited by the PPARγ antagonist, GW9662 (P<0.05). Our data provide novel insights into adipolin physiology in human subjects.

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V. N. Anyaoku, D. F. Wood, R. Pavlou, P. Williams, K. Tan, S. Fidler and D. G. Johnston

ABSTRACT

An enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay (ELISA) for measuring human pituitary glycoprotein free α-subunit is described. Pituitary tumours may secrete glycoprotein hormones, their free subunits (α, β) or a combination of these. Non-functioning adenomas often secrete free α-subunit. Assays for free α-subunit have previously used radioimmunoassay or immunoradiometric principles. Some of these methods are time-consuming and lack specificity and sensitivity. In order to overcome these problems, we have developed a two-site ELISA for α-subunit which uses a monoclonal antibody to α-subunit as the capture antibody to provide greater specificity. An affinity-purified polyclonal anti α-subunit conjugated to alkaline phosphatase was the signal antibody. Detection and quantification were based on phenolphthalein monophosphate conversion to phenolphthalein. The ELISA specifically measured glycoprotein free α-subunit in serum or plasma, discriminating between α-subunit and the intact glycoprotein hormones. The assay can be completed in 4 h. The assay sensitivity was 0·03 μg/l, and a normal range of 0·05 to 0·22 μg/l was established. In a retrospective study, elevated circulating glycoprotein α-subunit was detected in 22% of patients with non-functioning pituitary tumours previously treated with surgery and/or radiotherapy.

Journal of Endocrinology (1993) 136, 511–516

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Manjunath Ramanjaneya, Bee K Tan, Marcin Rucinski, Mohamed Kawan, Jiamiao Hu, Jaspreet Kaur, Vanlata H Patel, Ludwik K Malendowicz, Hanna Komarowska, Hendrik Lehnert and Harpal S Randeva

NUCB2/nesfatin and its proteolytically cleaved product nesfatin-1 are recently discovered anorexigenic hypothalamic neuroproteins involved in energy homeostasis. It is expressed both centrally and in peripheral tissues, and appears to have potent metabolic actions. NUCB2/nesfatin neurons are activated in response to stress. Central nesfatin-1 administration elevates circulating ACTH and corticosterone levels. Bilateral adrenalectomy increased NUCB2/nesfatin mRNA levels in rat paraventricular nuclei. To date, studies have not assessed the effects of nesfatin-1 stimulation on human adrenocortical cells. Therefore, we investigated the expression and effects of nesfatin-1 in a human adrenocortical cell model (H295R). Our findings demonstrate that NUCB2 and nesfatin-1 are expressed in human adrenal gland and human adrenocortical cells (H295R). Stimulation with nesfatin-1 inhibits the growth of H295R cells and promotes apoptosis, potentially via the involvement of Bax, BCL-XL and BCL-2 genes as well as ERK1/2, p38 and JNK1/2 signalling cascades. This has implications for understanding the role of NUCB2/nesfatin in adrenal zonal development. NUCB2/nesfatin may also be a therapeutic target for adrenal cancer. However, further studies using in vivo models are needed to clarify these concepts.